Pork and Cabbage Soup

We have not had a cold winter in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s been a wet one for sure, but most days we’re pulling out hoodies not coats. Today was just a bit colder, and given I need very little reason to make soup, today was a soup day. 

This soup is all about pork shoulder cooked until it shreds at the slightest touch.. It creates a great broth that you can top a thousand different ways and tweak to match your mood or the weather.


  • 3 lbs pork shoulder (cut into fist sized chunks)
  • 2-3 carrots peeled and diced2-3 stalks of celery trimmed and diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves diced
  • 1-2 cups shredded napa cabbage 
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes, diced (or 1 can)
  • 5-6 cups chicken stock
  • Olive oil
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2-3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt + Pepper


  • Start the prep: Dice the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and tomato. Thinly slice or shred the Napa cabbage. Cut the pork if needed. 
  • Bring a pot to medium/ high, and coat the bottom in olive oil and add the pork to brown, a couple minutes per side, then transfer to a plate.
  • Add the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic to the pot. Hit generously with salt and fresh ground pepper.
  • Gently cook the vegetables until they get soft and start to melt, but not brown. Add it the tomatoes and crank the heat up to high. 
  • Just when things start to bubble add in the pork and stock. 
  • Bring the whole thing to a boil, add bay leaf, another generous pinch of salt and pepper, then cover and drop to low. 
  • Simmer until the pork falls apart at the slightest provocation: 1-3 hours depending on the fat content of the pork. From time to time test it with a couple of forks, when they easily pull the pork apart you’re ready. 
  • Pull out the pork and the bay leaves, discard the leaves and shred the pork. 
  • Add the pork back into the soup with the cabbage and vinegar. 
  • Stir until the cabbage wilts and is well incorporated to the soup. 
  • Taste and add more vinegar, salt, or pepper to your taste. 
  • Serve! It goes great topped with avocado, creme fraiche, all sorts of chopped herbs, or spicy picked carrots (hint- that’s included below). Of course (as with most soups), it’s also amazing with bread. 

Bonus! – Spicy Pickled Carrots



  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorn


  • 8-10 large carrots
  • 1 medium onion
  • 12 jalapeños 


  • Peel carrots and slice diagonally 1/4″ or so thick.
  • Bring a pot to heat over high, add in brine ingredients, and bring to a boil. 
  • Add carrots and return to boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  • While that is going, peel and quarter onion, then slice 1/2″ thick.
  • Add onion to the brine and simmer for another 10 minutes. The carrots should be just getting to fork tender.
  • Slice the jalapeños into 1/4″ rings keeping the seeds.
  • Add the jalapeños and simmer for another 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover for 5 minutes, then allow to cool.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *