Kapuśniak Time! Sauerkraut Soup:)

Looking out the window, our first snow confirmed the beginning of the official soup season. So what did I do? I made soup!

‘Kapuśniak’ is a sauerkraut soup  made with pork ribs and Polish style smoked bacon (boczek). It’s always a crowd pleaser. Who wouldn’t like this perfect combination of three ingredients?:) Pork, cabbage, and potatoes well represent Polish traditional cuisine. Plus sauerkraut, ‘kiszona kapusta’ in Polish, is nutritious. You really want to eat it everyday:). 

Remember, ‘kapuśniak’ is a dish that needs your attention for at least three hours. So keep calm and cook ‘kapuśniak’.

Ingredients / 4-6 servings

1 lb lean pork ribs, or even double that for a richer soup
5 oz smoked Polish style bacon, cut in small squares
1 lb sauerkraut, choose your favorite brand
1 ½ lbs potatoes, cut in squares
2 qts water
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 bay leaf, 1 allspice, ¾ caraway seed, 1 tsp salt, 6 peppercorns plus freshly ground pepper


  • Rinse the ribs. Cut the slab into single ribs and place in a large pot, pour cold water. Add bay leaf, allspice, peppercorns, salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low, cover and simmer for about 1 ½ – 2 hours. The rib meat should be so tender that it comes off the bones very easily.
  • Remove the cooked ribs and strain the broth through a sieve to catch any pieces of bones and used up spices. Separate the meat from the bones. You will add it back at the end.

  • Be sure to taste the sauerkraut before putting it in the broth. If it is too intensely sour or salty, rinse with water in a sieve. Ideally, you should use the entire jar or package. So it’s important to have a good quality product. This time, I used the Deutsche Küche brand from Aldi. It tastes great and it’s already cut into smaller pieces.
  • Boil the sauerkraut in the broth with caraway seeds on low for about 45 minutes. Don’t forget to stir from time to time :).

  • Meanwhile, place the diced bacon in a cold frying pan. Set the burner to medium and wait until the fat begins to melt and the meat is browned. 
  • If the bacon is lean with very little fat to render, you can add cooking oil. After about 10 minutes add the chopped onion and grated carrot to the pan. Mix everything together and sauté for about another 10 minutes. Add a little salt and pepper, but not too much.

  • Also meanwhile, in a small pot, cover the potato squares with water. Boil until soft. Set aside, and save the water.  
  • After 45 minutes of simmering the sauerkraut, add the potatoes with the water they were cooked in. Add the sautéed bacon with vegetables. Let it simmer for the next 30 minutes. Taste the soup during the process. Add more water if the soup seems to be too thick. Keep adjusting salt and pepper.

  • The soup is ready when you are satisfied with the tenderness of the cabbage. Finally, add the rib meat, heat everything and serve.

You Might Also Like