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Here’s a simple recipe for Brothy Leek, Lamb and Cabbage Soup – a delicious, soul-warming soup that can be made in an Instant Pot or on the stove top! Keep it Low carb and Keto-friendly or add white beans! Serve this up with crusty bread or try these Savory Cheddar Scones!
Hey friends, I’m so excited to share this Leek, Lamb and Cabbage Soup with you! It’s so light and brothy and made with very simple ingredients- and the best part, it can be made in an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker, which makes things especially easy. Or make it on the stovetop.
Most of the time we see lamb featured in heavier stews and yes, I have a few of these here on the blog too-like this Middle Eastern Lamb Stew – but for Spring I wanted to share something a little lighter and leaner. (If you’ve been here a while, you’ll know my deep love for Broth-Based Soups.)
If you are following the keto diet, you can leave out the white beans– totally up to you.
The recipe starts with 2 large leeks, a whole head of cabbage and lamb stew meat- cut from lamb leg or lamb shoulder. It’s perfect for those tougher cuts of meat you may have frozen in your freezer.
This week I’ve partnered with American Lamb, which supports locally sourced and sustainably-raised lamb. I always feel good knowing I’m supporting local producers.
How to make Cabbage Lamb Soup
Cut the lamb into 1 -2-inch chunks.
Cut the leeks into 1/4 inch rounds and soak in water to remove any dirt or grit.
Drain and begin sauteing them in an Instant pot, or in a heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven.
The moisture from washing the leeks will help soften them, so wash them, even if they don’t seem very dirty. Add the carrots and celery.
While the leeks, carrots and celery are sauteing, cut the cabbage into chunks.
Add the cabbage, lamb and broth and spices to the pot.
Give a good stir. The soup will get brothier as the cabbage cooks down.
At this point you could add some dry white beans to the instant pot or add canned white beans after the stew has cooked.
If using an instant pot, set to high pressure for 40 minutes. Manually Release!
For the stove top alternative, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, cover,and simmer until meat is tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Stir in a little Apple Cider Vinegar and adjust salt to your liking.
Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve with crusty bread!
My husband really loves this soup with grated pecorino– it adds a delicious depth, but feel free to keep it light and lean, up to you.
The Cabbage Lamb Soup keeps up to 4 days in the fridge or can be frozen for later use.
The lamb-infused broth is truly heavenly, perfect for dunking bread or biscuits. We served the soup with these Savory Rye Scones and it was divine!
Please make a batch of this Brothy Leek Lamb and Cabbage Soup and let me know what you think below.
Hope you are staying well!!
More recipes you may like:
- Instant Pot Middle Eastern Lamb Stew
- Lamb Meatballs with Indian Curry Sauce
- 20 Best Broth-Based Soup Recipes
- Moroccan Braised Lamb Shanks with Pomegranate
- Grilled Lamb Kebabs with Herb Salad and Yogurt Sauce
Brothy Leek, Lamb and Cabbage Soup ( Instapot)
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 50
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: soup, lamb
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Irish
- Diet: Gluten Free
Brothy Leek, Lamb and Cabbage Soup- a delicious, soul-warming soup that can be made in a Pressure Cooker. Add white beans or leave them out for a low-carb, keto option. Serve with Savory Cheddar Scones!
- 1–2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 leeks, sliced into rings, rinsed, drained.
- 1 cup carrot, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 1 medium head green cabbage, halved, cored, cut into roughly 1-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 lbs lamb (stew meat- shoulder, leg, etc) cut into 2-inch pieces, fat trimmed
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Apple Cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme (or Herbs de Provence, or Italian seasoning)
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 can white beans, drained (see notes for dry)
- fresh parsley
- grated pecorino ( or other hard salty cheese- manchego, parmesan)
- Cut leeks into rings, place in a bowl and soak in water, separating the rings. Rinse out any dirt and drain. Heat oil in the Pressure Cooker, add the rinsed leeks, carrots, celery and garlic. Saute until leeks start to tenderize, about 5 minutes.
- Add the cabbage, lamb, broth, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar, thyme, caraway, cayenne and bay leaves. If adding dry white beans add them now (1/2 cup). Give a stir.
- Set Pressure Cooker to High pressure for 40 minutes. Manually or natually release.
- Add canned white beans if using and set to saute function to heat those beans through. Taste and adjust salt to your liking.
- Serve in bowls with fresh Italian parsley, grated pecorino and crusty bread (or these Savory Cheddar Scones)
If using dry white beans– resist the urge to add more than 1/2 cup- if you want the soup to be brothy.
STOVE TOP INSTRUCTIONS:
- Using a heavy bottom pot or large dutch oven follow directions 1 & 2 above, except leave out the cabbage in step 2. ( You can add dry white beans). Bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low or medium low, and simmer gently for 1 hour.
- Add the cabbage and just enough water to cover it, when pressed down.
- Continue cooking another 30-45 minutes, until lamb is tender, pulling apart easily with two forks.
- Continue to step 4 above and taste and adjust seasonings.
- Serve in bowls with fresh Italian parsley, grated pecorino and crusty bread (or these Savory Cheddar Scones)
*** For even more flavor you could brown the lamb beforehand- optional.
- Serving Size: -with 1 can white beans added
- Calories: 335
- Sugar: 10.4 g
- Sodium: 877.7 mg
- Fat: 11.2 g
- Saturated Fat: 3.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 30.7 g
- Fiber: 9.6 g
- Protein: 29.7 g
- Cholesterol: 75 mg
Keywords: lamb soup, lamb and cabbage soup, leek soup, brothy lamb soup, instant pot lamb recipes,
This is excellent and I will definitely make it again. I found, however, that one average head of cabbage, chopped as directed, was WAY too much cabbage for the amount of liquid in the recipe. I ended up pulling a bunch of it out after around 5 minutes of simmering, and added an additional cup of water as well. It would REALLY help if you would indicate the amount of cabbage needed for the recipe by WEIGHT. Even though it was an average size head of cabbage, it was way too much for the amount of broth. Also, could cooking it stove top have at least a part of the problem? Perhaps more water is boiled off stove top, thus concentrating the liquid in the recipe?
HI Mary- yes I do think cooking it on the stovetop could be why there was less liquid, especially if cooked uncovered. The pressure cooker keeps all the moisture in tight. As the cabbage breaks down, it also releases a LOT of liquid. I will note the recipe. 🙂
For the record, I did cook it with a tight fitting lid (in my LeCreuset Dutch oven). That’s not to say that the instant pot wouldn’t be better at retaining moisture.
Ok good to know- thanks. I adjusted the recipe slightly. 🙂
I dont have an instapot or a pressure cooker, will any soup pot work?
Hi Kara- yes, see the recipe notes. A pot will work- a heavy-bottomed pot is best, or a dutch oven.
I used this as inspiration for a cabbage soup containing onion instead of leeks, chicken instead of lamb. I sauteed the onion added the chicken and browned it, and the garlic to very lightly saute it. I cooked it all in a crockpot for 3 hours, kept adding cabbage (couldn’t fit it all in) and it came out a treat. Thank you for the inspiration! (my husband is not a fan of lamb, I didn’t want to go shopping so used what I had!)
I have made this again! I didn’t bother to saute anything and it still came out really good! So easy and good with or without the beans.
At the risk of missing the whole point of this soup, I subbed barley for the white beans. Couldn’t resist. Delicious!
Sounds delicious Debra!
Another hit! Used Beef Chuck cut into pieces instead of lamb and omitted caraway seeds and it turned out amazing! Used the instant pot. Thanks for another great recipe!
Great to hear!
Delicious hearty year round soup! Beef stew meat works well if lamb isn’t easily available
Very good. We raise our own lamb, and so this was the perfect soup for a cool spring day. Made it stove top, browning the lamb first and using homemade lamb broth and organic beans soaked overnight. I expected it to be a bit more “brothy” using an average size head of cabbage. Next time I might go for a smaller head of cabbage or not quite use the whole thing. Nonetheless, it was quite good!
Glad you enjoyed!
Could only find ground lamb so cooked that up in the instant pot instead. Sadly forgot the cabbage but made it without and it was still delicious! Made for great dinner and lunch several days after. Will definitely make again.
I have some ground lamb that is already cooked, can I throw that in at the end instead? Will it still be as tasty?
I bet it would be good! Give it a try!
Such a delicious soup with depth of flavor… so glad I added the caraway! I am planning on making this soup with a ham hock next time … and maybe subbing some of the cabbage for lacinata kale – to add a spot of color! On these cold days, a hot bowl of soup is so welcoming! Thank you for this recipe!
Thanks so much!
Excellent recipe! Packed with goodness! I’m new to cooking lamb, and so far this is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it. This is a staple for me now. You’re the best, Sylvia!
Absolutely delicious! Thank you for all your help earlier!
My husband loves lamb so I knew this would be something he would enjoy and he did!! It gives of a really nice aroma while it’s simmering too.
I’m new to your recipes, looking forward to trying more!
Oh good- glad it worked for you.
Can I substitute the cider vinegar for another type? Malt, red wine, white?
going to make this today. did you drain and rinse your beans?
Thanks, I read recipe again and saw it said drained. Is the Apple Cider Vinegar necessary? I don’t have any but have white, malt and red wine. Would any of these work in substitution?
Yes, white is fine!
Very good recipe but I prefer vegetables that are a bit crispy. The meat was very tender. Perhaps cooking the meat for 30 minutes or so and the adding vegetables would result in tender meat and crispy vegetables. Would do again with modifications.
We loved this soup. I made it stovetop just as directed, other than making my own lamb broth from Christmas dinner’s leg of lamb. Since I used the already twice-cooked lamb (once roasted for Christmas dinner, the other simmered in the broth), I cut back on the cooking time. I added the cabbage and the cooked lamb after 30 minutes simmering per steps one and two. I also drizzled the finished soup with some leftover homemade English-style mint sauce. Marvellous!
Amazing!! Cozy and filling but also didn’t feel super heavy.
Love this!!! I can’t believe it took me so long to stumble onto your website. I tried it last night along with your tzatziki recipe and the roasted eggplant. Everything came out delicious. For the soup, I used lamb broth that cooked for half a day. You have a great knack for flavours. Thank you!
Thanks so much!
I’m a little hesitant to write a review since I altered the recipe but I feel obligated to because my family loved it so much. We made it with flat iron steak instead of lamb and black eyed peas. The flavor was fantastic.
Really tasty. Will make this again.
So delicious! I’ve been making lots of your recipes recently, Sylvia, and they’re all amazing. We made chicken stock in our instant pot yesterday, and it was perfect with this. There was half a head of red cabbage in the fridge, so we used that and it turned the soup the most lovely reddish purple. We also added some gf noodles instead of white beans.
Yay- happy you liked it!
I have been a fan of yours since I first discovered your enchilada stuffed spaghetti squash. My family is primarily vegetarian so I’ve only ever tried your vegan recipes, but we made this soup on Easter to have something extra special in light of the quarantine keeping us out of church, the rain keeping us indoors, etc. It was absolutely delicious and such a treat to have this rich, warm soup on a meaningful day. Thank you for helping make our Easter celebration special!
I’m so glad you liked it Hannah!
I purchased a bone in lamb shoulder and cut away the meat and made a broth from the bones and scrapes. I refrigerated the broth overnight, then removed all the hard fat. I used the lamb broth for the soup base and it turned out perfectly. Love how light and brothy it was.
This sounds fabulous. My husband is making a Uwajimaya run today. How many pounds of bone in lamb shoulder do you recommend for this recipe if it calls for 1.5 pounds of meat? I’m going to make the bone broth for better flavor.
2 1/2-3 lbs?
Thank you. With this stay at home situation, I’m really giving your recipes some love! Tonight, we had your dutch oven chicken carnitas. Hubby said, “we’re gonna be sad when we go back to our normal takeout lunches.”
Awwww thanks! Love it!
Hi Sylvia, I have bone in lamb shoulder in the deep freeze. If I thawed and cut the meat away, what would you think about using the lamb bones to make broth rather than chicken broth? Any recommendations for making lamb broth? Thanks! This looks great for spring!
Yes, this is what I did. I just added onions, garlic, leek scraps, carrot, celery, herbs, salt to the lamb bone broth, simmered for a long time, skimmed the fat and foam.