Winter Vegetable Chowder with Mustard, Lemon & Crispy Cabbage

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 8 votes

A creamy and dreamy winter vegetable chowder with mustard, lemon and crispy cabbage on top. Healthy comfort food for cold days.

An overhead shot of winter vegetable shower in a white bowl, topped with crispy sliced cabbage, and on top of a deep blue napkin. There is a bronze plate with roasted cabbage slices nearby and a cutting board with thyme sprigs and a cut lemon on top.
An 3/4, up close shot of winter vegetable shower in a white bowl, topped with crispy sliced cabbage, and on top of a deep blue napkin.
An overhead shot of winter vegetables on a white linen background in harsh light. There is: a halved green cabbage, a head of cauliflower, a bag of onions and garlic, some parsnips, a celery root, lemons, and leeks.

Happy new year to you! Hugs and positive thoughts going out as we all get another beautiful chance to start again. I hope everyone got some personal downtime over the holidays! To read, create, travel, have a long bath, cook, bake, play, be in nature or just do absolutely nothing. Me? I’ve been making winter vegetable chowder and snuggling a new furry friend.

If you read things on the internet, it only seems natural to talk about hopes, new ambitions, and dreams for the year ahead. I’ll spare you that today by simply saying that I always hope for peace, equity, and positive union.

We adopted an adorably clumsy rescue pup over the holidays! Her immediate and unconditional love has been the sweetest. She’s made the turn from timid and fearful over to constant companion and cuddler in record time. She also grunts a bit when she gives her little kisses. I just love her.

So now I have a little furry pal that follows me around and takes naps by the kitchen heat vent. While I was fixing up this winter vegetable chowder, her little sniffer was going crazy!

I knew I wanted this to be thick and stew-like with all of the creamy-delicious winter-white veg I could get a handle on. This is all leeks, celery root, cauliflower and parsnips. Turnips, new potatoes or kohl rabi would be excellent additions too. I rely on grainy mustard and bright lemon to lift the creamy sweetness of the veg. Old Bay seasoning comes in with its celery-saltiness, and there’s thyme and garlic too. Just puréeing half of the mixture gives us that thick and luscious chowder-like vibe that we’re after.

See you all next week. More hearty soup inspiration: creamy vegan mushroom stew with farro and kale, Buffalo chickpea chili with mushrooms, and a smoky and spicy white bean stew with potatoes.

An overhead shot of chopped winter vegetables, all arranged on a white plate on top of a butcher block countertop.
4 photos: chowder prep ingredients on a wood countertop by the sink in a dimly lit kitchen, the pot of winter vegetable sautéing in a white Dutch oven, the sliced green cabbage with spices sprinkled on top, and the finished winter vegetable chowder in a white bowl on top of a deep blue napkin.
An overhead shot of winter vegetable shower in a white bowl, topped with crispy sliced cabbage, and on top of a deep blue napkin.

Winter Vegetable Chowder with Mustard & Lemon

A creamy and dreamy winter vegetable chowder with mustard, lemon and crispy cabbage on top. Healthy comfort food for cold days.
5 from 8 votes
A 3/4 shot of a winter vegetable chowder in a white bowl. The chowder is creamy coloured and topped with crispy roasted strips of cabbage. The bowl is perched on top of a deep blue napkin on top of a white background.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4


Crispy Cabbage

  • ¼ head green cabbage, cut into ½-inch slices cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • optional seasonings: Old Bay, celery salt, caraway seeds, nigella seeds, za'atar, whatever you like!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, small dice
  • 1 leek, small dice (white and light green part only)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small celery root, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups of small cauliflower florets
  • 1 ½ tablespoons grainy mustard
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 ½ cups vegetable stock



  • Feel free to mix it up vegetable-wise, maybe swapping in some squash, sweet potatoes and carrots for more of a deep orange chowder.
  • You could add some cooked white beans for an extra hit of protein too.
  • Also, be aware of your the salt additions. Old Bay seasoning is quite salty.


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Make the crispy cabbage. Place the sliced cabbage onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Pour the 2 teaspoons of olive oil over top, season with salt and pepper and add any spices you like. Toss lightly to combine and spread cabbage out evenly on the baking sheet. Slide the sheet into the oven and roast the cabbage for 13-17 minutes, or until browned on the edges and crispy in parts. You’ll have to flip the cabbage around a few times while it’s roasting. Keep it warm.
  • Make the chowder. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the diced onions to the pot and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the leeks and continue to sauté until the leeks are soft, about 5 minutes more. Add the minced garlic and thyme to the pot and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add the chopped parsnips, celery root, and cauliflower florets to the pot and stir to coat in the oil. Add the grainy mustard, salt + pepper to taste, and Old Bay. Stir to coat all the vegetables in spice. Add the lmeon juice to the pot and stir. Add the vegetable stock to the pot, stir again, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove the lid and lower heat to simmer. Let the chowder cook and bubble until the parsnips and celery root pieces are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Carefully ladle half of the chowder into an upright blender and carefully purée until smooth. Pour the puréed portion of chowder back into the soup pot and bring it back to a boil. Check the chowder for seasoning, adjust if necessary, and serve hot with some crispy cabbage on top
A photo of my dog Cleo in a red plaid dog bed in harsh light


07/01/2015 (Last Updated 09/02/2023)
Posted in: autumn, creamy, earthy, gluten free, grain-free, main course, nut free, refined sugar-free, side dish, soup, sour, spring, summer, vegan, winter


Recipe Rating

  • Genevieve

    I love anything tart and briny so this was right up my alley with the mustard and lemon. The roasted cabbage was great on its own and mixed into the chowder for a mix of textures. I also added white beans which worked well to make it heartier for dinner. I used a whole lemon so it was a bit strong on the lemon flavour the first night but the leftovers the next day were a bit more mellow with more of the other flavours coming through. 

  • Joyce

    What a brilliant recipe!  Thank you for all you share.  A big hit on a very, very cold night.  I decided to roast the veggies in a bit of olive oil and seasoning, added some cassoulet beans, used sweet potato, turnips and celeriac.  Great idea to add nutritional yeast!  I think you produce one of the best recipe blogs for us veggie focused folks.  Thank you again!