1. Food
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Sauerkraut Soup Recipe - Polish Kapusniak

User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)


Sauerkraut Soup

Sauerkraut Soup

© 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
Smoked hocks or a meaty ham bone adds another layer to this sauerkraut soup. Some people thicken the soup with roux or add potatoes, but my mother always used barley, which I've done here. She never used caraway seeds, but others do. It's good in all these variations. Serve with hearty dark rye bread and you've got a meal in a bowl. As with most soups, it tastes better the next day. The soup can also be turned into Creamed Sauerkraut Soup. See also this Ukrainian Kapusnyak recipe.

Here's a larger image of Polish kapusniak.

Makes 6 servings of Sauerkraut Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes


  • 2 pounds ham hocks or meaty ham bone
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 1 sprig fresh parsley or 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 cup barley (not quick-cooking), rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sauerkraut, drained (reserve liquid), rinsed and chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional)


  1. Place pork and water in a Dutch oven or other large pot. Bring to a boil, skimming off foam. Add onion, bay leaf, peppercorns and parsley. Return to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook about 45 minutes or until meat falls off the bones.

  2. Remove meat from broth, dice and return to the pot with barley, sauerkraut and caraway seeds, if using. Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for an additional 45 minutes. If soup becomes too thick, add meat stock or water. If a more sour taste is desired, add some reserved kraut juice. Adjust seasonings. Remove bay leaf. Serve in heated bowls with hearty rye bread.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Wonderful with Rye Bread, Member WaltGach

Hello all, Please make this on a cold, blustery day because it is so good with some nice Rye Bread (I recommend the Polish Buttermilk Rye recipe, but I suppose any really fresh, crusty bread will do...just make a good amount of it...in my experience, it will go fast. Smacznego! Walt Gach

17 out of 17 people found this helpful.

  1. About.com
  2. Food
  3. Eastern European Food
  4. Soups & Salads
  5. Soups
  6. Polish Soups
  7. Polish Sauerkraut Soup (Kapusniak) Recipe

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.