Polish Cabbage and Sausage Soup {Zupa z Kapusty z Kiełbasą}

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Polish Cabbage and Sausage Soup

Zupa z Kapusty z Kiełbasą

I love cabbage. I love how it tastes raw, I love how it tastes fermented, I like it in soup and in salad. I like it cold or hot. I love what it does to my digestive system and it’s easy on the wallet. I’m pretty sure 99% of Poles would back me up on this one. We consume A LOT of cabbage. As a matter of fact, I remember when I was a kid, my grandma would buy a winter’s worth each year and put it in the cool basement for storage. Endless supply was readily available and would turn into delicious home-made sauerkraut for bigos, fried cabbage or gołąbki. I don’t remember ever getting sick of it either. 

This cabbage and sausage soup has many renditions. Some ingredients or spices will depend on who’s making it, so I won’t be surprised if your family made it a bit different way. Some cooks like to add potatoes to it, I sometimes do too. The amount of cabbage and sausage added may vary too. Once you make it once or twice, you’ll find the best way to suit your taste buds. If you like it meat heavy, add more sausage. If you’re OK with cabbage being the star, make that be the focus. Try my recipe, and adjust how you see fit. Mine turned out nice and balanced. Smoked sausage comes through, but it’s not overbearing. Cooked down cabbage gave out a lot of sweetness and plays well with carrots and other root veggies. Tomatoes give a nice reddish tinge and a bit of tangy flavor for a nice, well-rounded cold winter soup.

Polish Cabbage and Sausage Soup

Polish Cabbage and Sausage Soup {Zupa z Kapusty z Kiełbasą}

  • Yields: 6-8 servings
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20-30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12-16 oz / 350-500 g of good quality smoked sausage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5-6 whole peppercorns and allspice berries (each)
  • 8 c / 2 l of water or stock
  • 1 c of carrots, sliced
  • 1 parsnip or parsley root
  • 3 celery stalks or ¼ of a celery root, diced
  • ½ head of medium cabbage, chopped
  • One 14.5 oz / 400 g can of diced tomatoes or 4 fresh tomatoes or 3-4 tbsp of tomato paste
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Dice sausage and place in a soup pot. Sear until the edges are golden brown. Add chopped onion, bay leaves, peppercorns and allspice berries. Sauté until onion is cooked.

  2. Add water / stock, carrots, parsnip, celery, and a bit of salt (amount will depend on whether you're using water or stock).

  3. Simmer on low for about 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.

  4. In the meantime, chop the cabbage. When stock is ready, add cabbage and tomatoes / tomato paste.

  5. Boil for another 5-10 minutes, until cabbage softens. Do not overcook the cabbage. You want a bit of crunch in it.

  6. Taste and add a bit more salt, if needed.

Notes

Some cooks like to add potatoes; I sometimes do too. The amount of cabbage and sausage added may vary too. After you make it once or twice, you'll find the best way to suit your taste buds.

I hope you give this simple soup a try.

Smacznego!

Anna

Polish Cabbage and Sausage Soup

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20 Comments

  1. Anna, this is the BEST soup ever! Is the use of the allspice a regional thing? My Grandma didnt use this spice in her Polish recipes. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

  2. Hi Anna, me and my husband annually make homemade kielbasa (some smoked, some unsmoked) based on a recipe from his Dzia Dzia. We also use his recipe for cabbage soup with kielbasa which uses American pickling spice. Your recipe sounds awesome! How, or at what stage, do you remove the unwanted parts like peppercorns and allspice berries? Also, I am going to try crisping my sausage before adding the liquid. Nice touch!

    1. I think thats what the recipe called for. Did you watch the video? I followed the recipe, used a can of diced tomatoes, used water, no broth and no parsnip cause I couldn’t find any.

  3. Hi there! I was wondering the same thing as Vanessa above. When or do you remove the peppercorns and allspice berries? Can I substitute with ground allspice and black pepper?

    1. I don’t remove it. I tell my family that if they get one they will have a lucky day😄
      You can subscribe whole for ground. Add a 1/4 tsp and taste and decide if it needs a bit more. Good luck!!😊

      1. My mom and grandmother would tell us the same thing haha Many “misfortunes” we’re supposed to be interpreted as good luck! I do the same with my kids now 🙂

    1. Hi there! I was wondering the same thing as Vanessa above. When or do you remove the peppercorns and allspice berries? Can I substitute with ground allspice and black pepper?

  4. This is my favorite soup ever! My son (now w/ 7 kids of his own) calls it the Polish version of Chicken Soup….he swears it cures everything! It is a very forgiving recipe. I like to use a slab of ribs in it.

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