This hearty and warming Polish sauerkraut vegetable kapusniak soup is a nutritious simple recipe perfect to enjoy during winter months.
Sauerkraut Vegetable Kapusniak Soup – Polish Recipe
This Sauerkraut Vegetable Kapusniak Soup is one of the heartiest soups I know. Sharp, peppery and warming, it is a great recipe to make during winter months. It is one of the most popular soups in Poland, where cabbage, whether fresh or fermented (i.e. sauerkraut), is inexpensive, available year round and valued for its nutrition and fabulous flavour.
Polish sauerkraut soup is typically made with meat, such as pork ribs, often smoked, but my recipe offers a vegetarian version.
This vegetarian sauerkraut soup is equally delicious especially if you garnish it with fresh herbs and sprinkle with a bit of smoked paprika. (See more serving suggestions below).
This fermented cabbage product has a distinct sharp, sour taste. It also has a pungent smell. Both in its raw as well as cooked form. Which is the only downside to sauerkraut, as far as I can tell. Everything else is fabulous. For me sauerkraut is the savoury equivalent to chocolate. It will satisfy your savoury cravings better than crisps (chips), pretzels or crackers. And it’s so much better for you!
Another big plus is that sauerkraut has a long shelf life, it’s full of natural preservatives so it won’t spoil quickly. So you can enjoy it in not one but several recipes! See more sauerkraut recipe ideas below.
Be careful with adding salt to this soup as sauerkraut is quite salty. Once the soup is cooked taste it to determine the amount of salt it needs, if any (I added about 1 teaspoon). Be generous, however, with the pepper (use either black or cayenne) as this soup tastes best with a bit of bite.
Other easy sauerkraut recipe ideas
Consistency of Polish kapusniak soup
You can adjust the amount of water to add according to your preference. I like this soup quite thick, almost stew-like, but you can simply add a bit more water if you prefer it more runny. (Don’t forget to adjust the seasoning). Sometimes sauerkraut comes with a bit of grated carrot – it’s perfectly alright to use this instead of just sauerkraut.
Garnish with fresh dill or parsley, sprinkle with smoked paprika, add bacon bits or sausage chunks (for a non-vegetarian option). You can also enjoy this vegetarian sauerkraut kapusniak soup with a thick slice of pumpernickel or rye bread.
Sauerkraut should be gluten free but always read the label before making a purchase.
Here is a non-vegetarian sauerkraut recipe you might like: Sauerkraut Chicken Casserole
Sauerkraut Vegetable Kapusniak Soup
- 350 g sauerkraut strained, chopped
- 4 medium potatoes cubed
- 1 medium carrot finely diced
- Small piece about 60 g celery root, peeled, finely diced
- 1/2 leek thinly sliced
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/3 teaspoon allspice powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1.4 l hot water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot heat up the oil, add the bay leaf, onion and fry for a couple of minutes over a medium heat stirring occasionally.
- Add the sauerkraut, stir and continue frying for another minute or so. Add 1/2 the amount of water, cover and bring to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients (NOT the salt), including the remaining water, stir, cover, bring to boil again and continue cooking over a low heat for 50 minutes. DO NOT add salt until the soup is fully cooked as the sauerkraut is salty so taste the soup to decide how much salt it needs (I added 1 teaspoon).
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