Hunky Heartbeet Cabbage Soup

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on February 13, 2017


If you’ve been following my Insta Stories this year, you might’ve seen that one of my smaller goals for 2017 is to use reusable produce bags. It’s something I’ve tried in the past but never stuck with, so when I told Eric about the goal he wasn’t sure that I would actually do it. Especially since I’ve had a pretty bad case of new-mama brain lately. “This is going to last a week!” he chuckled. But here I am 6 weeks into 2017 and it’s going great…mainly because proving him wrong is one of my greatest joys in life.

These are the bags I purchased on Amazon. I love that there are various sizes, and so far they’re holding up well! Adriana has also claimed one and likes it when I add a few light groceries into her “grocery bag” while she sits in the cart. Just remind me not to put a clementine in there again; she thinks it’s pretty funny when she bites through the skin. Disappointed smile


You may suspect we’re living off of soup these days due to how many soup recipes I’ve shared over the past few months, and you might be right! Soup has been our go-to solution during the hectic postpartum season because I can make a big batch and the leftovers only get better as the days go by.

My aunt recently had us over for lunch, and she made this incredible borscht-inspired soup that I immediately knew I had to try to make at home. I couldn’t believe how few ingredients she used for a soup that blew us all away. Her secret? A jar of marinara sauce forms the soup’s base. My jaw dropped! I recreated the soup at home the very next day, and my jaw dropped again when Adriana ate 3 bowls of it in a row. She was covered in beet stains by the end, but it was worth it because I never thought she’d eat this kind of soup. Heck, I never thought I would enjoy beets in soup either, but it’s our new obsession. So if you’re worried about a beet and cabbage soup being a bit too earthy-tasting, I encourage you to give this one a try. It’s surprisingly sweet, and really satisfying. I’m also convinced the healthy ingredients helped me fight off a cold that was going through our household, too. It’s bursting with Vitamin C, iron, and B vitamins, making it a great immune-booster this time of the year!


4.9 from 50 reviews

Hunky Heartbeet Cabbage Soup

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free


You won’t believe the gorgeous colours in this incredibly healthy, borscht-inspired soup, from the prep stage (gorgeous shades of plum and violet) to the final end result (a bold crimson red). It's the perfect soup to celebrate Valentine's Day (or really, to brighten up any chilly winter day). This soup takes an hour and a half to cook thanks to the raw beets, so be sure to give yourself enough time; the bonus is that you can cover it and walk away as it simmers. To avoid a longer cook time, chopping the beets very small (think pea- or almond-size) is key. A big thank-you to my Aunt Elizabeth for inspiring this soup.

9 cups (2.1 litres)
Prep time
Cook time


  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) coconut oil
  • 2 cups (280 g) diced red onion (about 1 medium/large)
  • 5 cups (540 g) diced red cabbage (about 1/2 medium)
  • 4 cups (500 g) peeled and diced raw beets (about 2 large/3 medium)*
  • 5 cups (1.2 L) marinara sauce**
  • 3 cups (750 mL) water
  • Fine sea salt or Herbamare, to taste
  • Cashew Sour Cream, for serving (optional)
  • Fresh dill, for garnish (optional)


  1. Add the coconut oil into a large pot. Over medium heat, sauté the onion for about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  2. Add the diced cabbage and beets. Stir again. Continue sautéeing for another few minutes.
  3. Add all of the marinara sauce and the water. Stir to combine. Simmer the soup, covered, over low to medium heat for 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until the beets are fork-tender. Your cook time may vary depending on how fresh your beets are and how small you chopped them. (If it’s your first time cooking the soup, you may want to check on it a few times and stir to to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom of the pot.)
  4. Taste and season with salt to taste. Ladle into a bowl and serve with a spoonful or swirl of Cashew Sour Cream and chopped dill if desired, but it's great all on its own, too.
  5. This soup will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week. It freezes beautifully, too: Simply cool the soup and place it into a freezer-safe container, leaving an inch of space at the top for expansion. Freeze for up to 2 months.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size 1 cup/250 mL | Calories 160 calories | Total Fat 3.5 grams
Saturated Fat 2.5 grams | Sodium 650 milligrams | Total Carbohydrates 19 grams
Fiber 3 grams | Sugar 12 grams | Protein 4 grams

Recipe makes 9 cups (2.1 litres) total.
* Nutrition data is approximate and is for informational purposes only.


* To prevent staining your hands, wear disposable gloves while peeling and dicing the beets.

** If you can find it, I highly recommend using White Linen Collection Marinara Sauce from Costco in this recipe. I use 1 full bottle, which works out perfectly to about 5 cups. It’s my favourite store-bought marinara sauce (I have no affiliation with them, by the way, just passing along my personal recommendation!). My Fail-Proof Marinara Sauce from Oh She Glows Every Day is also lovely in this soup!




Blessings in a Backpack update:

If you remember, we committed to donating the January revenue from our paid Get Glowing app bundle (for both Android and iOS) to Blessings in a Backpack Canada. I’m thrilled to let you know that we raised enough money to feed 19 children, providing them with a backpack of food to take home every Friday, for an entire school year! A BIG thank-you to everyone who downloaded the bundle of recipes. We couldn’t have done this without you!

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram @ohsheglows, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google+

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

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Nadia October 16, 2017 at 6:38 pm

Just made this tonight….soooo goood!!!
Will make again and again!
I used Paul Newman’s marinara sauce as I had no time to hit Costco. I have also bought the white linen brand sauce and it is great.


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 17, 2017 at 12:42 pm

Hey Nadia,
I’m so happy you love it as much as I do! It’s one of my biggest recipe “surprises” to date (I really didn’t think I would like it!)


Denise October 25, 2017 at 7:53 pm

It makes a big batch for just two of us. But I took it to work for lunch every day and did NOT get tired of it – in fact, I came to CRAVE it every day and was sorry by Friday when it was all gone! Unique flavor. Didn’t do the sour cream option. Just a good bread to go with it. Thank you!


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 26, 2017 at 6:17 am

Hey Denise, Oh I’m so happy you love it as much as we do!


Brenna November 8, 2017 at 12:29 pm
Recipe Rating:

Made it, loved it, used the leftovers smothered over noodles with feta cheese and it was just as good! And incase you were thinking you could shave cooking time by brunoise-ing the beets, they’ll still take over an hour. Worth it!


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 9, 2017 at 7:40 am

Hey Brenna, I’m so happy you enjoyed it so much. Thanks for your review!


Tara November 8, 2017 at 11:16 pm
Recipe Rating:

Made this for dinner tonight – it was great!! I didn’t want to attempt to peel and chop rock hard raw beets so I roasted them in the oven before making the soup so the skins would slide off easily (since I discovered this method, I don’t want to deal with beets any other way). Then I followed the soup recipe and added the roasted, chopped beets at the very end. It was delicious! Thank you for the recipe.


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 9, 2017 at 8:05 am

So glad you enjoyed it Tara. And yes, sometimes roasting and peeling beets is the way to go!


Amy huber December 25, 2017 at 9:42 pm
Recipe Rating:

I love borscht and really enjoy the flavours of this soup. I added a couple bay leaves and some caraway seeds to give it more of the borscht flavour.


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 26, 2017 at 8:20 am

Hey Amy, So happy to hear you enjoyed it. Good call on adding bay and caraway!


lia January 15, 2018 at 10:14 am
Recipe Rating:

I’ve made this soup four times in the past year and it has been my absolute favourite comfort food in the last few months! It’s also great to make in batch and eat over the course of a week and I enjoy topping it off with a little yoghurt and pumpkin seeds. I have even converted my beets hating mother into eating this!


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 15, 2018 at 10:41 am

Hey Lia, Whohoo! That’s so great to hear. We adore it too…it’s one of my fave ways to enjoy beets actually!


olivia January 30, 2018 at 2:24 pm

Love this soup! Made it few times last year. Just one thought- beets don’t need an hour of cooking, really may be 10-15 min because of the small pieces. I am making this soup right now once again! Thanks for the delish recipe.


Shelagh February 13, 2018 at 1:55 pm
Recipe Rating:

I just made this in under 30 minutes with my pressure cooker (Instant Pot)….about 30 minutes in total!! Fabulous with dill!


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 13, 2018 at 2:14 pm

That’s so wonderful to hear that it worked in the instapot!! Thanks for your review Shelagh!


Sarah February 19, 2018 at 2:11 pm
Recipe Rating:

I made this with a 28 oz can of pureed tomatoes in place of the marinara sauce, added in a bit of basil and oregano as part of the onions base to make up for it, and it turned out delicious. Thanks!!


Monique April 12, 2018 at 7:03 pm

This is delicious! I seriously did not expect it to be this good. Super hearty and satisfying, and the cashew sour cream on top of a bowl adds perfect richness to the soup. I had always wanted to try borscht but thought it looks intimidating. Your take on it is so easy and low maintenance! Will be making this again. Thank you!


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 13, 2018 at 8:00 am

hey Monique, I’m so glad it was a hit…I can’t get enough! And so healthy too. :)


Joanne Leblanc September 18, 2018 at 10:34 am
Recipe Rating:

Delicious. Made this soup last night and only used fresh tomatoes as no marinara sauce on hand. It turned out so good and will certainly make it again.


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 18, 2018 at 12:25 pm

Hi Joanne, I’m so glad fresh tomatoes worked too. It’s the perfect time of year for throwing them in soup! I’ll have to try it soon.


Melissa Austin September 25, 2018 at 6:26 pm
Recipe Rating:

I just pulled the beets from my garden and was looking for something to make. I cooked the beets in my instapot to make the peeling easy, and added the beet greens to not waste them- really good.
Fingers crossed that my 3 1/2 year old daughter will like this as well!


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 26, 2018 at 7:50 am

I love that you cooked the beets in the IP…great idea! I can’t wait to try that.


Allison October 10, 2018 at 6:20 pm
Recipe Rating:

This was so good! I had a couple of GIANT beets from a friend’s garden and some red cabbage to get rid of… so this soup came to mind!

I added a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar towards the end of cooking– beet soup (borscht) always was vinegary when my grandma made it so I wanted to have that flavour!

The marinara hack is such genius! I will make this again and again, thanks Angela, you never disappoint!


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 15, 2018 at 7:53 am

Hey Allison, I love that you tweaked the soup based on your grandma’s recipe! So glad it was a hit :)


Monique Hughes November 17, 2018 at 1:04 pm
Recipe Rating:

This was yummy but I added in soy sauce and vinegar to add a little bit more depth. And that just hit the spot. I love how this recipe is so easy, superhealthy and so cheap to make! Only set back, you really need to find quality beetroot else the flavour won’t be there.


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 18, 2018 at 10:10 am

I love your tweaks Monique :) I’ll definitely have to try that!


Angie December 3, 2018 at 8:39 pm
Recipe Rating:

LOVED IT!! But holy cow did it take a long time to cook. Instant pot version PULEASE!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 6, 2018 at 8:14 am

haha you read my mind because this soup is on my IP conversion list!! ;)


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