Polish sauerkraut soup is a simple yet hearty recipe that’s just perfect to enjoy on a cold day. Also known as kapusniak, this sauerkraut soup is naturally vegan and can be easily customized to your liking.
From time to time, I like to try out soups that seem quite unusual but end up being so delicious that I end up cooking them again and again.
This Polish sauerkraut soup is one of those recipes. Made with very simple ingredients, this soup is called “kapusniak” in Polish, and it’s just the perfect thing to try if you love all things sauerkraut.
This kapusniak recipe is vegan as written, but you’ll find that in Poland people typically make it with a ham bone, smoked ham hocks or bacon.
Why you’ll love this Polish sauerkraut soup?
- It has such interesting flavours! Kapusniak soup is all about that sauerkraut zing that works great with the other ingredients, which include onion, leek, carrot, parsnip and potatoes.
- It’s easy to customize. You can make this soup vegan or add some type of smoked meat for extra flavour.
- It’s just the perfect soup for hangovers. If you’ve been looking for the perfect hangover soup recipe, you’ve just found it!
What goes into this kapusniak soup recipe?
Onion — I like to dice the onion on the smaller side but it’s perfectly fine to cut it into large chunks.
Leek — You only need to use the white and light green parts of the leek for this vegan Polish soup.
Carrot and parsnip — It’s best to dice these about the same size as the onion so they cook evenly.
Garlic — Fresh garlic is best for this type of soup. You can chop it finely or crush it.
Sauerkraut — The best sauerkraut to use in this soup is the one you can get in a Polish deli. I drain it well without rinsing, but you can rinse it if you want.
Potatoes — Any kind of boiling potatoes work great in this soup.
How to make Polish sauerkraut soup with potatoes
Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven and saute the onion for 2-3 minutes over medium heat.
Add the leek, carrot and parsnip and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes until the veggies soften.
Add the sauerkraut and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes. Next, add a ladle of veggie stock and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the potatoes and the rest of the stock and simmer on a low heat for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender. Add a bit more stock if needed.
Season to taste and serve with rye bread or your favourite crusty bread.
Leftovers and storage
- Just like in the case of most soups, kapusniak tastes better the next day. You can make it ahead or double up the recipe to enjoy it for a couple of lunches.
- Sauerkraut soup will keep well in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container.
- Reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop until piping hot.
- The soup will freeze well for up to three months.
Recipe notes and tips
- If you want to add meat to sauerkraut soup, cook it along with the onion and other veggies.
- Some meat ideas to add to this soup include kielbasa or smoked bacon. You can even go the fusion way and use some pancetta.
- Hearty rye bread is an excellent site for sauerkraut soup.
If you liked this Polish sauerkraut soup, you might also like some of my other easy vegan soup recipes:
- Vegan Lentil Soup with Kale
- Vegetable Stelline Soup
- Brown Rice and Lentil Soup
- Greek Chickpea Soup with Lemon (Revithia)
- Vegan Lemon Rice Soup
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, finely sliced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 medium parsnip, diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 6-8 juniper berries
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 400 g (1 lb) sauerkraut, drained
- 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 500 g)
- 1.5 litres (6 cups) vegetable stock
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven and sauté the onion for 2-3 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the leek, carrot and parsnip and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes until the veggies soften.
- Stir in the garlic, caraway seeds, marjoram, allspice, juniper berries and bay leaves and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the sauerkraut and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes. Next, add a ladle of veggie stock and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and the rest of the stock and simmer on a low heat for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- Season to taste and serve with rye bread or your favourite crusty bread.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 189Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 513mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 6gSugar: 6gProtein: 5g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.