Polish Sauerkraut Soup {Kapuśniak)

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Polish Sauerkraut Soup {Kapuśniak)

This is yet another perfect fall/winter soup. Kapuśniak [kah-poo-shnyak] will help battling the cold and gloomy weather outside.

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. Polish Sauerkraut Soup {Kapuśniak)

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

Ingredients

  • 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 all spice seeds whole or a dash of ground all spice
  • 4-5 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram

Instructions

  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.

Notes

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!

Smacznego!!

Anna


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30 Comments

  1. We used to have a sauerkraut soup that had whole peas in it along with the pork meat & cubed potatoes. Ever heard of this soup?

  2. So happy to find your website. Both of my parents were from Poland and your recipes brings back lots of good food memories. Thanks.

  3. what kind of peas are you talking about? I think I remember my babci and mother using them I remember very small ones ..

  4. Hi! I’m Nancy…. I remember my grandmother making a sauerkraut soup but with mushrooms.. Am I really far off track and is there such a thing? I appreciate all answers and happy holidays!!❤🙋‍♀️

  5. My mom made this with the ribs and kraut onions potatoes and yellow split peas, and had to have pumpernickel bread

  6. Love this! My grandma made this with loads of mushrooms. Could not find her recipe. Going to try this of course adding mushrooms. Love your site so many good food with good memories 💗

  7. I make a version of this. I always make a huge batch of sauerkraut as a side so have lots left over. I just drain it, simmer it and add salt, pepper, and a pkg of OXO beef seasoning. Simmered and then fried on butter on a pan.
    So to make soup, I start with a can of mushroom soup, Saute some onion and celery and add the sauerkraut and some good smoked bacon or ham. You can add potatoes as well. Simple. And ready in just a few minutes. I do not use the spices. Just the OXO which has some spices. This is such a hearty, delicious soup!

  8. I remember having this soup with barley and potatoes in it. I’m going to make it. Haven’t had it in years ! Delicious cold weather meal with some good rye bread.

  9. I watched your video for the sauerkraut soup, and it looked so good! In the video you used parsley root. I haven’t seen it in stores. Does it taste like parsley? Would parsley leaves be a good substitution, or not necessary? I liked the idea of using leek, too. I definitely plan to try making it, once the weather cools off. I’ll let you know how it goes. I really enjoy your site and recipes.

  10. Hello. Maybe this is a normal variation. I recall Mom’s saurkraut soup being very orange…I’m thinking maybe there were tomato soup or sauce added to it. Have you heard of this? Thank you for your postings. I’m loving revisiting meals of my childhood that I didn’t realize were “Polish”!

  11. I just found your site and am loving all of the Polish recipes. I’m of Slovak descent, so I’m pretty familiar with Central European cooking. Since it’s snowing on April 21, there’s going to be some comfort food cooking here today!

  12. I cooked with my polish grandma and loved every minute! She was polish my grandpa Russian. I just found this site and I am enjoying it so much. Love your travels! Thank you so very much!

  13. I hate caraway. When I make sauerkraut soup or fried sauerkraut I always use it.
    No allspice or bay leaves or marjoram. That’s the way my Babcia, mom and her friends made it, could be a regional thing. I find the caraway very complimentary to the sauerkraut. Also always make it with a rack of ribs because I love eating ribs boiled in soup, yum! 🥰

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