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Polish Cabbage and Sauerkraut Soup Recipe - Kapusniak

User Rating 4 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


Polish Cabbage and Sauerkraut Soup or Kapusniak

Polish Cabbage and Sauerkraut Soup or Kapusniak

© 2010 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This recipe for Polish kapusniak is made with fresh cabbage, sauerkraut and vegetables in a beefy-tomato broth. Make this soup one day in advance so it can be defatted before serving. Many kapusniaks are made with either fresh cabbage OR sauerkraut, but this recipe packs a double punch. Serve with Polish light rye bread for a complete meal. This makes a large quantity but it's a good candidate for the freezer. See also this Ukrainian Kapusnyak recipe.

Here's a larger photo of cabbage soup.

Makes 10-12 servings of Polish Cabbage Soup or Kapusniak

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes


  • 4 slices chopped bacon
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 2 celery ribs cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 4 peeled carrots cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 small head shredded cabbage
  • 2 pounds unsmoked pork spareribs, cut into 2-rib pieces
  • 1 meaty ham bone or ham hock
  • 1 pound sauerkraut, drained, juice reserved
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 4 quarts beef stock
  • 1 heaping teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley for garnish
  • Sour cream for garnish


  1. In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, sear pork ribs on both sides over medium-high heat. There should be enough fat on the ribs so additional fat should not be required. If the ribs are very lean, lightly spray the pot with cooking spray before searing. Remove browned ribs to a plate and reserve.

  2. Add bacon to pot and fry until most of the fat has rendered out. Add onions, celery, carrots, potatoes and garlic to the pot and cook until onion is translucent. Add fresh cabbage and cook until it collapses. Return spareribs to the pot and add ham bone or hock, sauerkraut, tomato sauce, beef stock, paprika, bay leaf and sugar. Mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to mediium low and cook about 2 hours or until meat falls from the bones.

  3. Remove ribs and ham bone or hock from the soup, let cool slightly and remove all bones and cartilage from meat. Chop meat into bite-size pieces, if necessary, and return to the pot. If you prefer a slightly more sour soup, add some of the reserved sauerkraut juice.

  4. Cool the soup in an ice-water bath and then refrigerate. The next day, skim off the congealed fat and reheat. Adjust seasonings, if necessary. Serve in warmed bowls with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle of chopped parsley, if desired.
User Reviews

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 3 out of 5
Okay. Trouble getting some ingredients., Member AgathaX

Will make again if my partner requests it and he liked it. But the world is full of recipes and returning to one that was merely okay seems unlikely. As for the ingredient problems: My grocery does not carry ham bones, nor am I going to buy a whole ham. The grocery store near me with the largest spice selection had nothing labled Hungarian sweet paprika. I got regular paprika. I bought what were labled as pork ribs which turned out to be boneless pieces of lean pork loin. Yes. Boneless ""ribs."" Turns out that's what ""bnl"" means. It's hard trying to cook peasant food these days. Additionally, the directions to use four carrots, and 2 potatoes didn't quite work because my carrots and potatoes were both very small. Measurement by weight would have been helpful. Moreover, I used a six quart pan to cook in and it was not big enough. I could only fit in three quarts of broth after adding everything else. And even so, a heaping teaspoon of paprika was not much flavoring for such a lot of stuff. Ditto 2 tbsp. sugar. The soup was fine. My partner liked it. I added another teaspoon paprika, some black pepper, salt. I was annoyed at the lean dry pork pieces in it. We did not use sour cream as a topping because he doesn't care for sour cream and I was happy to avoid the calories. Visit a butcher. Get the proper meats. And order your spices on line. Eight quart pot might help too.

11 out of 44 people found this helpful.

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