Polish Sauerkraut Soup Recipe (Kapusniak)

Discover the authentic taste of my Polish Sauerkraut Soup recipe! An ancestral delight, hearty and nourishing, perfect for your cold winter nights.

Polish sauerkraut soup, also known as kapusniak, is a simple and hearty dish that is perfect for cold days. The soup is made with sauerkraut, vegetables like onion, leek, carrot, parsnip, and potatoes, and a variety of herbs and spices for flavor.

It can be made with or without meat, depending on personal preference. The sauerkraut is drained and added to the soup along with vegetable stock and simmered until the potatoes are tender.

The soup is typically served with rye bread or crusty bread. It can be made ahead of time and keeps well in the fridge for up to three days, or it can be frozen for later use.

Traditional Polish Sauerkraut Soup

Polish Sauerkraut Soup is a cherished traditional Polish soup, prepared with love and passed down through generations in Polish households. This hearty and flavorful dish is perfect for cold winter days, warming both the body and the soul.

Made with sauerkraut, vegetables, and a variety of herbs and spices, it is a staple in Polish cuisine.

To make homemade sauerkraut soup, start by draining the sauerkraut and preparing the vegetables.

Onion, leek, carrot, parsnip, and potatoes are commonly used to add depth and texture to the soup. The vegetables are sautéed in a pot until they become tender and fragrant.

Then, add the sauerkraut and vegetable stock to the pot. The soup is simmered until the flavors meld together and the potatoes are cooked to perfection.

The sauerkraut adds a tangy and slightly sour note, while the vegetables and spices create a comforting and robust flavor profile.

Polish Sauerkraut Soup can be enjoyed on its own or served with rye bread or crusty bread to soak up the delicious broth. It is a versatile dish that can be made with or without meat, allowing for customization based on personal preference.

This soup can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to three days, or frozen for later use, making it a convenient and satisfying meal option.

Ingredients for Polish Sauerkraut Soup

To create a flavorful and comforting Polish Sauerkraut Soup, gather sauerkraut, vegetables, herbs, and spices. These ingredients come together to create a delicious winter soup that will warm your body and soul.

Here’s a list of the key components:

  • Sauerkraut: The star of the show, sauerkraut adds a tangy and fermented flavor to the soup. Look for good quality sauerkraut that is not overly sour.
  • Vegetables: Onion, leek, carrot, parsnip, and potatoes are commonly used in this soup. They add depth of flavor and provide a variety of textures.
  • Herbs and Spices: Bay leaves, dried marjoram, and black peppercorns are typical seasonings used in Polish Sauerkraut Soup. They infuse the soup with aromatic and savory notes.
  • Vegetable Stock: This forms the base of the soup and enhances the flavors of the other ingredients. Opt for a good quality vegetable stock or make your own at home for the best results.

Once you have gathered these ingredients, you are ready to embark on a culinary journey to create a bowl of comforting Polish Sauerkraut Soup.

The combination of sauerkraut, vegetables, herbs, and spices will result in a soup that is bursting with flavor and perfect for warming up on chilly winter days.

Sauerkraut2 cups
Onion, chopped1 medium
Leek, sliced1 medium
Carrot, diced1 medium
Parsnip, diced1 medium
Potatoes, peeled and cubed2 medium
Bay leaves2
Dried marjoram1 teaspoon
Black peppercorns10
Vegetable stock4 cups

Cooking Steps for Polish Sauerkraut Soup

Follow these simple cooking steps to create a delightful batch of Polish Sauerkraut Soup, a comforting and nourishing dish.

  1. Start by draining the sauerkraut and rinsing it under running water. This will help remove any excess salt and prepare it for cooking.
  2. In a large soup pot, heat some oil over medium heat and sauté the chopped onion until it becomes translucent. This will add a wonderful depth of flavor to the soup.
  3. Add the sliced leek, carrot, parsnip, and diced potatoes to the pot. Stir well to combine the ingredients and let them cook for a few minutes until they start to soften.
  4. Now it’s time to add the drained sauerkraut and the vegetable stock. You can also add some marjoram, bay leaves, and a pinch of caraway seeds for extra flavor.
  5. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let it cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the flavors have melded together.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remember that the sauerkraut already adds some tanginess, so be careful not to over-season.
  7. Your homemade sauerkraut soup is now ready to be served! Ladle it into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley or dill, if desired.

Enjoy this comforting and nourishing bowl of Polish Sauerkraut Soup with a slice of rye bread or crusty bread for a complete and satisfying meal.

Variations of Polish Sauerkraut Soup

Polish Sauerkraut Soup can be customized according to your tastes, with options to include meat or keep it vegetarian for a delightful variation. Here are some ideas to make your sauerkraut soup even more enjoyable:

  • Meat lover’s delight: If you prefer a heartier soup, you can add some meat to your sauerkraut soup. Traditional options include bacon, ham, or kielbasa. Simply cook the meat before adding it to the soup and let it simmer along with the other ingredients for a rich and flavorful touch.
  • Vegetarian twist: For those who prefer a meat-free option, you can skip the meat altogether and focus on the delicious combination of sauerkraut and vegetables. You can enhance the flavors by adding mushrooms, extra carrots, or even some beans for added protein. The result is a satisfying and nutritious vegetarian version of the classic dish.
  • Spice it up: If you enjoy a bit of heat in your soup, you can experiment with different spices and herbs to give your sauerkraut soup a kick. Try adding a pinch of cayenne pepper, paprika, or even hot sauce to liven up the flavors. Just be sure to taste as you go, as spices can vary in intensity.

Remember, sauerkraut soup is a versatile dish that allows you to get creative with ingredients and flavors. Feel free to experiment and make it your own!

Polish souerkrout soup - kapuśniak, served in a bowl with polish sausage and beans.

Serving Suggestions for Polish Sauerkraut Soup

Polish Sauerkraut Soup pairs perfectly with a variety of bread options, including rye bread or crusty bread, elevating it to a satisfying comfort food experience.

The combination of the rich, tangy sauerkraut broth and the warm, hearty bread creates a delightful contrast of flavors and textures.

To add an extra touch of indulgence, you can top your soup with a dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche. This creamy addition enhances the creaminess of the soup and adds a subtle tanginess that complements the sauerkraut perfectly.

If you’re looking to incorporate more vegetables into your meal, consider serving a side of pickled vegetables alongside your Polish Sauerkraut Soup. The bright and tangy flavors of pickled cucumbers or beets provide a refreshing accompaniment to the soup.

Whether you choose to enjoy your Polish Sauerkraut Soup with a slice of rye bread or a crusty roll, the combination is sure to warm your soul and transport you to the cozy comforts of a traditional European soup.

Experiment with different bread options and toppings to find your perfect match!

Storage and Freezing Tips

Polish Sauerkraut Soup, also known as kapusniak, is a comforting and flavorful dish that can be enjoyed for days to come. Whether you have leftovers or want to make a larger batch for future meals, proper storage is essential to maintain its delicious taste.

Thankfully, storing and freezing this soup is quite simple, allowing you to savor its comforting flavors whenever you desire.

To store Polish Sauerkraut Soup, simply transfer it to an airtight container or a sealable plastic bag. Place it in the refrigerator, where it can be kept for up to three days. This makes it convenient for quick and easy reheating whenever you’re in the mood for a warm and satisfying meal.

If you prefer to enjoy the soup at a later time, freezing it is a great option.

Before freezing, make sure the soup has cooled completely to room temperature. Pour it into a freezer-safe container or freezer bags, leaving some space at the top to allow for expansion as it freezes. Label the container with the date and freeze it for up to three months.

Tips for Freezing and Thawing:

  • Divide the soup into individual portions before freezing to make it easier to defrost only what you need.
  • When thawing, transfer the frozen soup to the refrigerator overnight to defrost gradually. Alternatively, you can thaw it in the microwave using the defrost setting or heat it directly on the stove over low heat.
  • Once the soup is thawed, reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through before serving. Stirring occasionally will ensure even distribution of heat.

With these storage and freezing tips, you can savor the comforting flavors of homemade Polish Sauerkraut Soup whenever you crave it.

Whether you choose to store it in the refrigerator for immediate enjoyment or freeze it for a future cozy meal, you’ll always have a comforting and nourishing option on hand.

Health Benefits of Polish Sauerkraut Soup

Polish Sauerkraut Soup offers not only a comforting and delicious experience but also potential health benefits with its nutritious ingredients.

This winter soup recipe is packed with sauerkraut, which is fermented cabbage rich in probiotics that support gut health. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that promote digestion and can boost the immune system.

In addition to its gut-friendly properties, Polish Sauerkraut Soup is also a great source of essential nutrients. The vegetables, herbs, and spices used in this recipe provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that contribute to overall well-being.

The soup is low in calories but high in fiber, which can support weight management and help keep you feeling full.

To enjoy the health benefits of Polish Sauerkraut Soup, simply prepare it using fresh and high-quality ingredients. Choose organic sauerkraut with live cultures for maximum probiotic content.

Incorporate a variety of vegetables and herbs to enhance the nutritive value of the soup. Serve it piping hot with a side of rye bread or crusty bread for a complete and satisfying meal.

The History of Polish Sauerkraut Soup

Polish Sauerkraut Soup holds a rich history within Polish cuisine, symbolizing the heritage and traditional flavors of Poland. This beloved soup has been enjoyed for centuries, with its roots tracing back to the peasant communities of Eastern Europe.

In these communities, sauerkraut was a staple food due to its ability to be stored for long periods of time. The addition of sauerkraut to soups, such as kapusniak, provided a way to add flavor and a tangy twist to otherwise simple and hearty dishes.

Throughout history, sauerkraut soup has become an iconic dish in Polish cuisine, representing the resourcefulness and resilience of the Polish people. It has evolved over time, with each region and household adding their own unique touch to the recipe.

Some variations include the addition of meat, such as smoked sausage or bacon, while others keep it vegetarian, focusing on the flavors of the sauerkraut and vegetables.

The Traditional Flavors of Poland

Polish cuisine is known for its hearty and comforting dishes, and sauerkraut soup is no exception. It combines the flavors of tangy sauerkraut, earthy vegetables, and aromatic herbs and spices to create a bowl of warmth and nourishment.

The soup’s popularity has spread beyond Poland, with people around the world embracing its traditional flavors and adding it to their own culinary repertoire.

  • Drain sauerkraut and rinse with water to remove excess salt.
  • Finely chop onion, leek, carrot, and parsnip.
  • Peel and dice potatoes.
  • In a large pot, sauté onion, leek, carrot, and parsnip in a little oil until softened.
  • Add sauerkraut, potatoes, bay leaves, allspice berries, dried marjoram, and vegetable stock to the pot.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve hot with rye bread or crusty bread.

Whether you choose to enjoy a classic version of Polish Sauerkraut Soup or put your own spin on it, this traditional dish will always remind us of the rich history and flavors of Polish cuisine.

Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Polish Sauerkraut Soup

To elevate your Polish Sauerkraut Soup, I’ll share some helpful tips and tricks that will guarantee a delicious and comforting bowl.

1. Use homemade sauerkraut: While store-bought sauerkraut works fine, making your own sauerkraut adds a depth of flavor that truly enhances the soup. It’s easy to make and allows you to control the fermentation process and the level of tanginess.

2. Add smoked meats: For a more robust flavor, consider adding smoked meats like kielbasa or bacon to your sauerkraut soup. The smokiness adds a savory element that pairs well with the tangy sauerkraut and vegetables.

3. Allow flavors to meld: Like many soups, the flavors in Polish Sauerkraut Soup deepen and develop over time. For the best results, let your soup simmer on low heat for at least 30 minutes to allow the ingredients to meld together, creating a harmonious and flavorful dish.

These tips and tricks will make your Polish Sauerkraut Soup truly exceptional. Whether you choose to make your own sauerkraut or add smoky meats, experimenting with these variations will result in a bowl of comfort food that will warm your heart and soul. So, go ahead and savor every spoonful of this traditional Polish delight!

Polish kapuśniak soup with souerkrout and sausage


Polish Sauerkraut Soup, with its traditional roots and comforting flavors, is a delightful and nourishing soup that deserves a place in your recipe collection. This simple yet hearty dish is perfect for cold days and offers a taste of authentic Polish cuisine.

Made with sauerkraut, vegetables, herbs, and spices, it warms both the body and the soul, making it an ideal comfort food option during the colder months.

Whether you choose to make it with meat or keep it vegetarian, this soup is versatile and can be customized to suit your personal preferences.

The sauerkraut is drained and added to the soup along with vegetable stock, creating a rich and flavorful base.

As the soup simmers, the potatoes become tender, adding a satisfying element to each spoonful.

Serving Polish Sauerkraut Soup with a side of rye bread or crusty bread elevates the dining experience, providing the perfect accompaniment to soak up the delicious flavors.

Additionally, this soup can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to three days, making it a convenient option for busy days or meal planning. It can also be frozen for later use, allowing you to savor its comforting qualities whenever you desire.

So why not give Polish Sauerkraut Soup a try?

With its rich history, nourishing ingredients, and satisfying flavors, it is a truly remarkable dish that will transport you to the heart of Poland. Add it to your recipe collection and experience the warmth and comfort it brings to your table.

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Laura i Nathan

Poznaj Laurę i Nathana. Doświadczonych kucharzy domowych. Autorów przepisów które z pewnością pokochasz.

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