Punjabi Style Chicken Soup with Cabbage {Paleo, Whole30}

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Soups on! I am back in the full swing of making big pots of soup at least once a week. Even though I am a year-round soup-lover, this summer was pretty soup-less save for the occasional pot.

This Punjabi Style Chicken Soup with Cabbage was born from my desire to find more creative ways to get my family to eat more of two things; cabbage and turmeric.

Cabbage because it’s really cheap, filling and I personally love it and turmeric because it’s an anti-inflammatory powerhouse.

At its core, this is a simple soup, easy to make, full of clean ingredients, a bit of protein, some veg, a bit of fat from the coconut milk and the perfect amount of spice to keep it interesting.


  • As for spiciness, if you want this soup MILD, omit the serrano chile. If you want it MEDIUM, include the serrano but don’t use the ribs or seeds.  If you want it SPICY, use the serrano including seeds and ribs.
  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast cut into 1″ chunks would also work well, just allow the pieces to sear a bit longer than the ground chicken so you can ensure it is cooked through.
  • I used plain homemade chicken stock (chicken bones, garlic, kosher salt and water). My Flu-Fighter Stock would also be a fantastic base for this soup and add an additional layer of flavor. If you use packaged chicken broth, you may need to adjust the salt. Make sure to start with less as most packaged broths tend to be on the salty side.

5.0 from 10 reviews
Punjabi Style Chicken Soup with Cabbage
9 Points Plus Per Serving -- Individual Serving Size is 2 Cups -- Recipe Makes 6 Servings
Serves: 6
  • 2 Tablespoons Ghee or Coconut Oil (for dairy free)
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 large yellow onion, pureed
  • 2 Tabelspoons minced fresh ginger root
  • 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ small serrano or jalapeno chile, finely chopped (see NOTES for spiciness)
  • ¾ pound ground chicken thighs (or boneless, skinless chicken thighs cubed)
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1½ pounds green cabbage, core removed and thinly sliced
  • 6 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
  1. Use the food processor or blender to puree the yellow onion. (If you don't have either machine, just chop it as fine as you possibly can)
  2. Peel ginger using a small spoon by gently rubbing the edge of the spoon down the sides.Mince and set aside.
  3. Remove core from cabbage, cut in thick slices turn and thinly slice.
  4. Finely chop garlic. Remove seeds from serrano chile and finely chop., measure spices, stock and open coconut milk. Chop cilantro, measure ⅓ cup and set aside.
  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat. Once hot, add Ghee or butter then cumin seeds. Cook, stirring constantly for 30 to 45 seconds until fragrant.
  2. Add pureed onion and cook 8 to 10 minutes until soft.
  3. Next add in serrano chile, ginger and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute until fragrant.
  4. Add chicken and cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown. Next, stir in salt, garam masala and turmeric, cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, until spices are fragrant.
  5. Toss sliced cabbage into pot and stir until well coated with spice and chicken mixture. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cabbage starts to soften and reduces a bit.
  6. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Add coconut milk, reduce light to a simmer and simmer 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in chopped cilantro, serve and Enjoy!

Punjabi Style Chicken Soup

Total Shares 1.5K

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  1. Jenn says

    Making this for the 2nd time in 4 days! It’s bitter cold outside and I needed a warm, hearty, low carb soup to warm me up. This was it! Works beautifully as written, so much flavour packed into this soup. I have this on now using beef broth and veal (which I needed to use or lose tonight) and the flavour is every bit as wonderful as with the chicken. Next I”ll try with fish or seafood. I really think the soup base will work with just about anything. Thank you!

  2. Suzelle Lee says

    ♥…Very good …. will make it again and again … Nice change from traditional cabbage soup … and the bonus his that I always have all the ingredients on hand …
    Thank you for sharing …♥

  3. Scott says

    Another great recipe! Just my kind, simple, delicious, filling and low points. Made it on the only cold and wet day we’ve had in San Diego all year. Down 15 lbs since Jan 3 thanks to you. :) Keep those great recipes coming.

  4. Cindy says

    We love this soup! Have made it 3 times already this season (it’s cold in the midwest). Freezes great. Add some brown rice and it’s a meal. Will try with white beans next time. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Sharon says

    Made the flu fighter stock yesterday & used it to make this soup today. It is won-der-ful! I substituted a few shakes of pepper flakes for the chilies and used the chicken from the stock (shredded). Great instructions. It came out perfectly. Do you know if it freezes well?

  6. says

    Sounds fantastic, Alyssa! I am a big fan of not only Indian spices for taste, but also their potential preventive and medicinal properties. I have been cooking a lot of Indian and Bangladeshi-type dishes lately, usually with a Scottish twist, and cabbage is SO Scottish! Will have to give this a go. Thanks for this, my lovely x PS Last night I even replaced corn with cabbage in a vegetarian tamale pie. Crazy but good
    kellie@foodtoglow recently posted..Cardamom-spiced Fig and Plum GaletteMy Profile

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