Polish Sauerkraut Soup {Kapuśniak)

Busy Chef’s Sauerkraut Soup – Kapuśniak na Szybko

My kitchen is here!!! We are now moved. It was a long transition from the hot and tropical Hawaii to snowy Pennsylvania, but we’re settling in. I’m taking a break from unpacking for some “me time” in the kitchen.

The cold and gloomy weather outside has gotten me thinking about soup. Poles are pros at making soups out of nothing, and since cabbage is pretty much considered its own food group in Poland, I’m serving up a modern take on a traditional Sauerkraut Soup. I’ve decided to go with an easier version (skipping making my own broth) to save some time. 

This tangy and smokey soup is a bit more for the adventurous eaters. If you like sauerkraut, I’m sure you will fall in love this  winter favorite (they say it’s great when you’re having some “health issues” from too much fun the night before, but I wouldn’t know anything about that). 

You can easily make your own sauerkraut and I encourage you do to do so (recipe HERE), but store bought, canned kraut will do also. Just make sure to pay attention to the ingredients, go with the brand that only has cabbage and salt listed. This means cabbage soured naturally, in barrels, and was not treated with vinegar or other additives.

Sauerkraut Soup {Kapuśniak)

  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 1h 10min


  • About 1/2 rack of pork ribs (ham bone or smoked turkey leg would work well also)
  • 3 strips of good smoky bacon (cubed)
  • 3 tbs of butter
  • 1/2 large onion (chopped)
  • 2 carrots
  • 27 oz can of sauerkraut
  • 64 oz (2 boxes) of chicken stock (beef or veggie stock also OK)
  • 5 allspice
  • 4-5 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram


  1. Wash the ribs and cut into single bones. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  2. In a 5 qt. pot heat butter on low and gently place ribs in the pan. Keep the heat low to prevent the ribs from burning. Cook until lightly brown, about 15 min. Add stock, allspice, bay leaves and let simmer on low until the pork is nice and tender (for about an hour).

  3. In the mean time, sauté the bacon and onions until the fat is rendered and onions are cooked. Set aside.

  4. If you are a first timer, I would suggest you drain and rinse the sauerkraut. It can be a bit overwhelming for someone who’s not used to the sour taste. You can also try just draining it, without rinsing or don’t do it at all, like I did. Just dump the whole can of sauerkraut into the pot, add chopped carrots and the bacon and onion mixture.

  5. Simmer on low for another 20 minutes. Add marjoram. Serve with bread.


Many chefs add potatoes to it, I didn’t today, but it sure makes a well rounded meal with a bit of the rib meat, kraut, carrots and broth.

Enjoy and let me know if you have had this aromatic soup before? Leave a comment below!