Friday, March 1, 2013

Sauerkraut Soup

Blog's Category:  My Own Fast and Easy, My Staple Food, USSR-era Recipes
Sauerkraut Soup


My hubby is not much into the cooking but lately was seeing in a kitchen putting together some meals. He even started on getting some of his own specialties such as this soup. Without his approval, I'm dare to post his recipe here as, IMHO, this soup deserves to know wider crowd - the recipe is simple, very tasty and actually is very close to popular in Russia "Schi" soup. Although Russian Schi has more ingredients  than this soup, overall impression is the same - sauerkraut based, filling, delicious soup that can totally function as "one-meal-dish".
This time, in order to have pictures from a process, I cooked the soup all by myself. Interesting that when my dear friend husband cooks it, he tries to involve everybody around into a process. Our son and me do a low-grade cooking such as peeling potatoes, chopping onion, etc. The most fun part of putting stuff together, creative tasting and continuing stirring, he honorably takes on himself.  Although I have to give him credit for ability to transform kitchen duties into some sort of collective/group fun, he-he!

Taste Description

Pushy aroma of smoked kielbasa, pleasant sourness of sauerkraut, tempered with sugar, plus smooth texture and  subtle taste of potatoes, all these creates multi-dimensional experience  from this soup. You will be craving it all day long, this sweet-&-sour-&-smoky concoction.

How to Serve
It's great to eat right after it gets off the stove. It will be even better the next day, and a day after. Add some more fresh herbs when serving to make it more "visual".
Sauerkraut Soup
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 3-4 pieces of smoked kielbasa (such as polska, about 10" long each), sliced 1/2" thick
  • 1 pack (1 lb) of store-bought sauerkraut (bagged is better for this recipe than jarred)
  • 6-7 large potatoes, peeled and cut in cubes
  • salt (to taste)
  • sugar (to taste)
  • 2 tbs of olive oil
  • bay leaf
  • green onion and fresh herbs such as dill or parsley (optional, but desirable), chopped
  • black pepper
- In a strainer, rinse sauerkraut briefly under tap water and set aside.
- In a large pot, on a medium-low heat, cook onion in olive oil until soft and translucent. Add  garlic, bay leaf and kielbasa and continue to cook, stirring, until kielbasa starts to brown up.
- Add all potato and feel pot with water, about 4-5" above potato level.
- Bring it to a boil, add salt to taste, turn heat low and let soup simmer until potato is completely cooked.
- When potato is cooking, on a separate skillet, cook sauerkraut in a little olive oil until it starts to change color to beige. Set aside. This step is absolutely optional. If you feel "blah.." - skip it, as I did this time.
- When potato in a soup is done and partially has fallen apart, add sauerkraut, bring soup to a boil. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Add one or two tablespoons of sugar and freshly grated black pepper. Taste, adjust the taste by adding more sugar or salt. It should be pleasantly sweet-&- sour. Add green onion and fresh herbs, bring to a boil and take from the heat. IT's done. Enjoy!
- Along with potato, add some additional vegetables such as celery or carrot, if you wish.
- To add some color to the soup, add frozen or fresh peas when you add green onion.
- you have to use smoked kielbasa or smoke meat for this soup. Smokiness is the must.
- baking potato is the best choice for this soup. Do not add cabbage until potato is fully cooked. Partially, potato has to fall apart and create this beautiful creamy texture.
- pay special attention at the end, when you add sugar to balance out sour taste of sauerkraut. Do not be affraid to add more sugar if you feel so.

I used lean kind of kielbasa (6g of fat per serving) was still good.

you're right.. it's better to add potato first and then water .. not the other way around :)

Potato is at fall-apart-done stage - time to add sauerkraut.

It looks pale and watery.. but beleive me - taste is almost there.

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