Recently, we played a game at home, where everyone had to tell the one dish they would wish to have before they were executed. To my surprise, I couldn’t come up with anything better than sauerkraut soup. (If we exclude desserts, of course).
It is a different experience to eat sauerkraut soup in winter than in summer, though. It just tastes much better when it is -10°C outside. Also, cooking this heavenly soup means a specific intensive smell and this can be quite repulsive on a very hot day.
The philosophy of making soups is completely different in Eastern Europe than in Ireland or the UK. We like to see ingredients while eating rather than taking part in a cheerful guessing game. We never bought into the idea of blending veg and chicken into a yellowish slash, which is a practical solution for lunch on-the-go, but definitely not for a proper meal.
Before you unsubscribe, let me assure you that I do not think that Eastern European cuisine is in any way superior to any other. Just blending soup is a culinary crime for me.
So, follow the recipe and do not blend.
You will need:
One jar of sauerkraut (1 liter) – see: how to buy sauerkraut.
One big onion
200-300 g of smoked bacon and/or good polish sausage
1 small leek
A piece of celeriac (you can substitute with green celery, if you really have to)
2-3 medium potatoes (optional)
a little bit of oil
lots of marjoram
2-3 pimentos (called also allspice; we add it to every soup, but do not panic, it will not change the taste drastically, if you do not have it)
1-2 bay leaves (as above)
Dice the onion, bacon and/or sausage and fry till onion is golden. I don’t like to wash pans, so I just fry my onion in the same pot I will use to cook soup.
When, the onion is golden, add sauerkraut (can be chopped a bit) and fry together for about 10 minutes. After that add as much water as much soup you would like to get, if you know what I mean.
Add pimentos and bay leaves and cook it for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, dice the vegetables. Add them to the pot, except potatoes, which will never cook in the presence of sauerkraut. So, add your diced potatoes when all the other ingredients are cooked. When potatoes are ready, add marjoram and your soup is ready.