Not a fan of sauerkraut? German Sauerkraut Soup might change your mind. Known locally as ‘sauerkrautsuppe,’ it’s a deliciously filling soup that’s excellent as an appetizer or a light meal on its own!
But for now, let’s focus on this soup that uses a well-loved German food as an ingredient — sauerkraut.
Sauerkraut is fermented, raw cabbage and is arguably one of Germany’s national dishes.
There are various versions of making sauerkrautsuppe. This, here, is my favorite.
It uses bacon, onion, apple, and caraway seeds to complement the flavor of sauerkraut.
The result is a thick, creamy soup that’s got sweet, sour, and salty, with a hint of anise from the spice — simply delicious!
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- Bacon – chop them about half-inch wide and fry them until they get slightly crunchy.
- Onion – as typical of other German soups, you must chop the onion finely for this sauerkraut soup recipe.
- Sauerkraut – rinsed, drained, and chop into smaller pieces (if they’re not yet).
- Flour – for thickening and helping in ‘browning.’
- Apple – for providing that hint of ‘sweetness’ in your German sauerkraut soup.
- Stock – traditionally, beef stock is used, but chicken stock will also work.
- Caraway seeds and salt – spice and seasoning you need for this sauerkrautsuppe recipe.
Start making German sauerkraut soup by placing the slices of bacon in a medium to a large pan.
Cook over medium-high heat until bacon becomes brown (and slightly crunchy).
By this time, there should be enough oil in the pan from the bacon.
Add the chopped onion.
Cook until the onion turns soft.
Add the drained sauerkraut.
Adjust heat to medium.
Cook the sauerkraut until it turns darker in color.
Add the flour.
Mix and continue cooking for about a minute.
Add stock, grated apple, caraway seeds, and salt.
Cover with a lid and bring sauerkrautsuppe to a quick boil.
Adjust heat to low and simmer for twenty minutes — taste and adjust the seasoning during this process.
Transfer your German sauerkraut soup into bowls and serve!
- If possible, use German sauerkraut; they’re noticeably less sour than American-made ones.
- Do not hesitate to add some olive oil if you think the bacon fat is not enough for sauteing the onion and sauerkraut.
- Feel free to add more apples if you want; just make sure you use red, sweet apples.
- It’s better not to pour all the stock at once. Start with four cups, and add more if you want more liquid in your sauerkraut soup.
- Paprika. You can use regular paprika or Hungarian sweet paprika if you want some color in your sauerkrautsuppe.
- Ham. Pieces of ham are sometimes added with bacon or as an alternative.
- Wine. In some regions in Germany, they add a drizzle of white wine to the bowl of soup before serving.
So how about it? Give this sauerkraut soup recipe a try one of these evenings!
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German Sauerkraut Soup Recipe (Sauerkrautsupe)
- Medium to Large Pan
- 3/4 to 1 cup bacon (about 150 grams), chopped
- 1 medium onion, sliced finely
- 1 cup sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 4 to 5 cups stock
- 1 small apple, peeled, cored and grated
- 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
- salt, to season
- Place the slices of bacon in a cold medium to a large pan.
- Cook over medium-high heat until bacon becomes brown and crunchy enough for you.(Note: There should be enough oil in the pan by now.)
- Add the chopped onion and cook until it softens.
- Add the sauerkraut, adjust the heat to medium, and cook until the sauerkraut turns darker.
- Add the flour and continue cooking for about a minute — mixing continuously.
- Add stock, grated apple, caraway seeds, and salt.
- Cover your sauerkrautsuppe with a lid and bring it to a quick boil.
- Adjust heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes(Note: Remember to taste and adjust the seasoning as well.)
- Transfer your German sauerkraut soup into bowls and serve!
- Cook’s Tip #1: If you have easy access to German sauerkraut, use that instead of American-made ones. They’re noticeably less sour (and less intense), perfect for making this sauerkraut soup recipe.
- Cook’s Tip #2: Do not hesitate to add some olive oil if you think the bacon fat is not enough for sauteing the onion and sauerkraut.