This cabbage and farro soup with white beans is cozy, nutritious, and easy to prepare in one pot on the stovetop. A spoonful of basil pesto swirled into the soup makes it extra flavorful and delicious! A healthy broth-based soup recipe you’re sure to love.

two bowls of cabbage farro soup with spoonfuls of pesto on a light grey backdrop

As a Registered Dietitian, my job is to provide you with sound, evidence-based nutrition advice – which is why I would never encourage following a fad diet.

This cabbage farro soup with white beans and pesto is NOT your cabbage soup of diet culture yore. Instead, it’s packed with nourishing, energy-giving ingredients like green cabbage, whole grain farro, creamy white beans, and other delicious vegetables. Serve it with a spoonful of pesto to make it extra delicious.

This cabbage soup tastes great AND provides you with valuable nutrients like protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Made in one pot on the stovetop, this recipe makes 4-6 servings, you can prepare a batch today and have leftovers for lunch tomorrow! This plant-based recipe is vegetarian, but can easily be made vegan with a few tweaks.

Find even more healthy soup recipes on my blog, including carrot potato soup, vegan carrot ginger soup, and creamy broccoli leek soup.

Step-by-step video

Ingredients in cabbage farro soup

Here is everything you need to make this soup recipe:

Kitchen tools needed

To make this recipe, you will need a stock pot, a good knife for chopping all the veggies, and a wooden mixing spoon.

cabbage farro soup ingredients measured out on a light grey backdrop

How to make cabbage farro soup

  1. Prep all the ingredients before you begin making the soup: chop the vegetables, measure out farro, drain and rinse the beans.
  2. Heat olive oil in the stock pot. Add the mirepoix (diced carrots, celery, and onion) and minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the thyme and green cabbage. Sweat the cabbage over medium heat to gently draw out the flavor without overcooking it.
  4. Stir in the farro, vegetable broth, and water. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover the pot.
  5. Cook soup for about 25 minutes, covered, until farro is cooked through. Cooked farro will be soft yet chewy, and hold its shape well.
  6. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Stir in the white beans and cook for another 5 minutes to let the beans heat up.
  7. Ladle into bowls to serve, then serve with a dollop of green pesto swirled into each bowl.
  8. Garnish with fresh cracked pepper and grated parmesan cheese, if desired.

What to serve with soup

This soup makes a light, well-balanced meal when served on its own. It contains fiber from farro and vegetables, plant-based protein from farro and white beans, and plenty of micronutrients!

If you’d like to make this a more filling meal, you could round out this soup with a serving of protein and/or vegetables on the side. Some protein options include:

Some vegetable sides and salads that would go well with this soup:

Storing cabbage farro soup

Have leftover soup? Put it in a food storage container and refrigerate for up to five days.

Reheat individual portions of soup in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, until heated through. Stir in pesto after the soup has been reheated.

hands holding a bowl of farro cabbage soup with a spoonful of pesto in the soup

Farro nutrition & health benefits

Farro is a very nutrient-dense whole grain. One fourth cup of dry farro provides:

  • 6 grams of plant-based protein
  • 5 grams of dietary fiber
  • 15 percent of your daily magnesium and zinc needs
  • 4 percent of your daily iron needs
  • 20 percent of your daily niacin needs

When it comes to fiber, farro is higher in soluble fiber than other whole grains. This type of fiber has heart health benefits. Consuming 5-10 grams of soluble fiber per day can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Additionally, whole grain foods, including farro, contain an abundance of antioxidants. Long term consumption of antioxidant-rich foods may be protective against certain diseases.

Is farro gluten free? No, farro is not a gluten free grain, since it is a part of the wheat family. However, some people with gluten intolerance can tolerate moderate amounts of farro, because it contains less gluten in it than regular wheat! If you have Celiac disease, you should not eat any farro or gluten containing products.

Is farro healthier than rice?

There is a time and place to enjoy both farro and rice. However, farro is more nutrient-dense than both brown rice and white brice. Specifically. farro is higher in protein and fiber than rice.

The following table is a nutrient comparison between one half cup of farro, brown rice, and white rice.

FarroBrown RiceWhite Rice
Calories170108121
Fat (g)1.510.2
Protein (g)1032
Carbohydrate (g)43.52227
Fiber (g)620.3
bowl of farro cabbage soup with a silver spoonful of pesto on top

Green cabbage nutrition & health benefits

Cabbage is a very nutritious food to include in your diet. One cup of raw green cabbage provides:

  • 2.3 grams of dietary fiber (8% of your daily needs)
  • 1.2 grams of plant-based protein
  • 38.70 mg folate (10% of your daily needs)
  • 32.9 mg Vitamin C (37% of your daily needs)
  • 68.4 mcg Vitamin K (57% of your daily needs)

Cabbage is a part of the brassica vegetable family, which also includes kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Brassica family vegetables have anti-inflammatory plant compounds called glucosinolates. These compounds have antioxidant properties, protecting our cells and helping to prevent certain diseases.

White beans nutrition & health benefits

White beans are incredibly nutrient dense! One half cup of white beans provides 7 grams of fiber (22% of your daily needs) and 10 grams of plant-based protein. Additionally, white beans have lots of vitamins and minerals:

  • 0.18 mg thiamin (15% of your daily needs)
  • 101.7 mg folate (26% of your daily needs)
  • 39.05 mg choline (7% of your daily needs)
  • 2.08 mg iron (12% of your daily needs)
  • 5.4 mcg selenium (10% of your daily needs)
  • 67.5 mg magnesium (16% of your daily needs).

White beans are also a good source of potassium, copper, and phosphorus.

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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bowl of farro cabbage soup with a silver spoonful of pesto on top

Nourishing Cabbage Soup with Farro, White Beans, and Pesto

  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: Soups and stews
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This cabbage and farro soup with white beans is cozy, nutritious, and easy to prepare in one pot on the stovetop. A spoonful of basil pesto swirled into the soup makes it extra flavorful and delicious! A healthy broth-based soup recipe you’re sure to love.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2/3 cup white onion, diced
  • 2/3 cup carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2/3 cup celery, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups green cabbage, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup pearled farro
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 15 ounce can of white beans, such as cannellini beans or navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 46 tbsp green pesto, divided, for serving. Either store bought or homemade
  • Grated parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large 8 quart stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to the pot with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent. Light  browning is OK.
  3. Add the sliced cabbage and thyme to the pot and stir everything together. You’ll want to sweat the cabbage for about 5 minutes to bring out the flavors without major browning. Stir occasionally.
  4. Add the pearled farro, vegetable broth, and water to the pot. Stir everything together.
  5. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover the pot.
  6. Cook the soup for 25-30 minutes, covered, until farro is cooked through. Properly cooked farro is soft but still has a nice chew, and keeps its shape.
  7. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed.
  8. Stir in the white beans. Cook for another 5 minutes so the beans heat up.
  9. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with a tablespoon of pesto stirred right into the soup. Add grated parmesan cheese as desired. 

Notes

Storing cabbage farro soup

Have leftover soup? Put it in a food storage container and refrigerate for up to five days.

Reheat individual portions of soup in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, until heated through. Stir in pesto after the soup has been reheated.

Keywords: cabbage farro soup, cabbage soup, healthy soup recipes, vegetarian soup recipes