Nami-Nami’s Heartwarming Sauerkraut Soup

I found this in Nami-Nami’s lovely Estonian cooking blog. I haven’t yet tried it, but I think it sounds wonderful and it will go on the stove when the first cold day arrives.

Meatless sauerkraut soup (Lihata hapukapsasupp)

3 litres of water (3 quarts + 3/4 cup)
1 kg fresh sauerkraut* (2.2 pounds)
100-200 grams vegetable oil, lard or butter (1/2 cup)
1-2 large onions
3-4 carrots
1 Tbsp concentrated tomato paste
1-2 chopped floury potatoes
2-3 bay leaves
black pepper
sour cream (for garnish)

Drain the extra liquid from the sauerkraut, put aside (you may need this to make the soup more sour later on). Rinse lightly under cold water.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the cabbage and pour over enough boiling water to cover by a few centimetres. Bring to the boil, add 2 chopped carrots, diced onion, tomato paste, chopped potatoes and bay leaves. Simmer for 1-1.5 hours, until the cabbage is tender.

Add the rest of the boiling water in batches during simmering. Season with salt. Taste the soup – if it is too sharp and sour, add some sugar. If you think it’s not sour enough, add some of the preserved draining liquid. Being a sauerkraut soup, it’s supposed to be sour, of course. But you’re not aiming for gut-scratching sharp and sour that gives you tummy troubles later.

Add 1-2 finely grated carrots for some crunch and colour, and garnish with a dollop of sour cream. Serve with rye bread.

*Sauerkraut is available either “fresh” or canned. The latter has been partially cooked already, so needs less simmering time. It also tends to be less sour.



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