This Chorizo Soup is hearty, filling and perfect for when you need to warm up after a blustery cold day. Sopa Caldosa (Mexican Cabbage Soup) is delightful in flavor in in tangy tomato broth. Low carb and brimming with excitement, let’s take a look.
This recipe was first published in September 2011 and updated October 2020.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many days during the Fall and Winter season, that soup is our choice for dinner.
And in all their vegetable-y brothy-ness, usually a healthy option for dinner.
They’re warm, they’re comforting and they’re full of flavor. And this a bowl of cozy hearty chorizo soup is one of our favorite recipes.
I’ve had this soup recipe since 1999, according to my database. Its origin is unknown. I’ve made changes to it over the years, improving, making it easier and adding subtle flavor touches. My notes indicate it’s a popular soup from the Oaxaca Region of Mexico.
About This Recipe, Why It Works
- Sopa Caldosa is low carb and high in flavor.
- And did I mention, a cabbage soup with bacon?
- Filled with lots of vitamin rich shredded cabbage and chickpeas for protein, the higher fat chorizo is sprinkled on top of the soup. Meaning you get to choose the density of those fat calories.
- It’s a one pot easy dinner.
- And it’s a very economical meal. With just the two of us, we have leftovers for a couple of days.
- It’s quick, it’s outstanding in flavor, somewhat healthy and it’s one of our favorite soup recipes.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Mise en place. Always gather ingredients before starting any recipe. It will save you time and organize your mind.
- Mexican Chorizo Sausage, (prounced chor–EE-zoh) Whenever I see a recipe that calls for Chorizo, I always check “what kind”. This recipe calls for Mexican Chorizo rather than Spanish Chorizo. Mexican chorizo is a mixture of chopped pork meat and Mexican spices. I prefer to buy bulk chorizo packaged like hamburger, rather than the product that comes in a tube.
- Cabbage, plain green cabbage that’s simply chopped to form thin slices.
- Chicken Broth, if you make your own chicken broth, even better. But canned chicken broth works just fine for this recipe. Low sodium chicken broth will also work just fine.
- Chopped Canned Tomatoes.
- Tomato Paste, Such an important ingredient for the richness of this soup. A pantry MVP, it’s concentrated, and add a rich flavor layer to this soup. It also adds that deep color to the broth that compliments this chorizo soup.
- Bacon and Onions, Are a match made in heaven. And is there any better aroma when they’re cooking together? They are a big part of what makes this Mexican cabbage soup so delicious.
- Chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) A rich source of vitamins and minerals, they also add a slightly crunchy texture and nutty flavor to this soup.
- Vinegar, If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times. Vinegar is as important to many dishes as is salt and pepper. It brightens the flavor of any tomato based recipe. This recipe calls for cider vinegar.
Pro Tip: Soup season isn’t the time to purchase those sad flavorless hot-house tomatoes at the market. Purchase a good brand of chopped canned tomatoes. Canned tomatoes are bright and flavorful because they were canned at the height of the tomato season.
How To Make Chorizo Soup
- Start by frying chopped thick-cut bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. When the bacon is half cooked, add the onions. Cook until onions are tender and bacon is crisp. Add the chopped garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant.
- Add the sliced cabbage and cook, stirring frequently, until cabbage starts to brown and is becoming a bit caramelized. If the pan seems dry, add a glug of olive oil.
- Add the chicken broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, and tomato paste.
- Stir well and let the soup simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes.
- In the meantime brown the chorizo, drain the grease and set aside.
How To Serve Chorizo Soup
- To serve, ladle sopa caldosa into bowls, sprinkle with cooked chorizo and garnish with cilantro if you’d like.
- And if you want, a creamy bowl of goodness, just top this chorizo soup with a dollop of sour cream for a real treat. Enjoy!
Mexican Chorizo is sold in a package like ground beef and must be cooked before used. It’s highly seasoned with Mexican seasonings. When you purchase Spanish Chorizo, it’s a product that’s dried and cured. It’s ready to eat. It can be sweet and it can be spicy. It’s seasoned with smoked paprika which gives it a vibrant color and beautiful flavor.
There is no difference between chickpeas and garbanzo beans. We’ve simply ended up with two names for the same legume because Garbanzo is the Spanish term and Chickpeas is the common English term.
A good substitute for chickpeas is Great Northern Beans. Just drain and rinse before adding to the soup.
Using canned chickpeas makes this chorizo soup an easy fix. And yes, if you want to use dried chickpeas, the texture and flavor will be even better. Just soak dried chickpeas overnight, then cook for about three hours before proceeding with the recipe.
- Soup always tastes better the next day. This chorizo soup freezes well. Just place leftovers in an airtight container and keep in freezer for up to three months. Just thaw in refrigerator overnight and reheat stovetop or microwave.
- Tuck leftovers for the next day into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days. Again, stovetop or microwave make reheating this soup a cinch.
I hope you give this ultra-delicious chorizo soup recipe a try. Mexican cabbage soup Is truly a bowl of goodness to warm your soul.
And if you’re looking for more soup recipes, don’t miss my Soup Category. You’ll find lots of soups, stews and chili recipes to keep you warm and cozy over the cold months. I consider soup my specialty. And you’ll find the most popular soup recipe on my site for Anthony Bourdain’s New Mexico Style Chili.
More Mexican Soup Recipes
Mexican Chorizo Soup with Cabbage (Sopa Caldosa)
- Dutch Oven
- 2 slices bacon thick cut, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup onion chopped. Sweet or yellow onion preferred.
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 8 cups green cabbage thin sliced, about 1 pound
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 15 1/2 ounce chickpeas canned, drained
- 14 1/2 ounce tomatoes canned, undrained and chopped
- 1 pound Chorizo Mexican, cooked and crumbled
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish
- In a fry pan, cook the Mexican chroizo until browned. Drain grease and set aside.
- Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. When the pot has heated up, add the bacon pieces and cook until almost crisp.
- Add the chopped onion and cook until just becoming tender, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and cook until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add cabbage sauté 10 minutes, stirring regularly until the cabbage is starting to brown, or caramelizing. If the pan seems dry, add a glug of olive oil.
- Add chicken broth, chickpeas, tomato paste and tomatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
- Stir in the vinegar.
- Ladle soup into bowls; top with Mexican Chorizo and chopped cilantro.
- To make this soup creamy, don't hesitate to add a big dollop of sour cream.
Mexican Chorizo Soup … It’s What’s For Dinner
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If you’ve tried this or any other recipe on my website, please leave a star rating in the recipe card below. And write a review in the comment section. I always appreciate your feedback.
I know this cabbage soup recipe was posted ages ago, but I just wanted to stop in and say that it’s terrific! I have it bookmarked and come back to to every year. Everyone who tries it loves it, and it’s so simple and perfectly balanced. Thanks so much for sharing!
Jean | Delightful Repast says
Lea Ann, it’s time to make this soup! I love everything in it, so it can’t miss.
Abbe Odenwalder says
I never would have thought of using chickpeas in this soup, but I am guessing this could quickly become well loved in our home. Such a great recipe Lea Ann!
Now this is how I can get the husband to eat cabbage. He loves anything with chorizo and bacon. A fabulous dish Lea Ann! Thanks for sharing.!
This recipe is excellent! So simple but so tasty!! It’s become a regular in my rotation.
Lea Ann Brown says
Thanks so much for taking the time to write a note and review about that soup. And so glad you enjoyed the recipe. Your words felt like a warm hug this morning.
It’s most certainly a regular in our meal plans.
Wasn’t sure when to add the vinegar – I did it towards the end. I used turkey chorizo from my CSA and added a bit of chipotle chili powder, Mexican oregano, and cumin for a bit extra. This was delicious and I’ll surely be adding it to my rotation. 🙂
Lea Ann Brown says
Hi Kat and thanks so much for your note.
My apologies about the vinegar instruction. I always add vinegar at the end, just as you would salt or pepper, to adjust the balance of the recipe. I’ll go back in and clarify that in the recipe.
I’m so glad you liked that soup! Thanks for letting me know. It’s 10 degrees here in Colorado and we have a foot of new snow on the ground. Definitely soup season here.
SO many of my favorite ingredients in every spoonful!! The flavors sound amazing—perfect meal on a chilly day!
Lea Ann Brown says
You’re the best Liz. Thanks for stopping in and the comment.
John / Kitchen Riffs says
I love chorizo in soup! Haven’t combined it with cabbage, though — gotta give that a try. Thanks!