Bowl of Vegetarian Sauerkraut Soup
(click to enlarge)

Sauerkraut Soup - Vegetarian
Adapted from Polish
  -   Kapusniak
Makes:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
5 quart  
***
1-1/2 hr  
Better

This is a savory and satisfying soup, especially for cold, rainy days. I often make a full recipe on the first heavy rain day of the year. My vegetarian days are long passed, but I still prefer this version. Since I developed this recipe, and I'm a pure child of the Polish - Lithuanian Commonwealth, I'm claiming it as "authentic". For more details see Note-5.





all
1/2
1
2-1/2
------
12
1/3
1/2
1
1
------
5
1/8
1/2
1
1/8
1/8
------
3
6
1-1/2
1-1/2
1-1/2
2

t
qt
#
---
oz
c
c


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t
t
t
t
t
---
cl
oz
T
T
T
#
Potato peels
Salt
Water
Potatoes (1)
-- Broth
Beer
White wine
Barley (2)
Bay Leaf
Chili, dry (3)
-- Spicing
Cloves
Nutmeg
Peppercorns
Mustard seeds
Fennel seeds
Caraway seeds
---------
Garlic
Onion
Sesame Oil (dark)
Olive Oil extV
Butter
Sauerkraut (4)
    with Brine
Make   -   (1-1/2 hr - 55 min work)
  1. Peel POTATOES, put peels in a pan with Salt and Water. Simmer for stock.
  2. Cut Potatoes into chunks from 3/4 to 1 inch on a side.
  3. Put Potatoes and all Broth Items into a pot large enough to hold the final recipe (5 quart minimum). Add enough water to cover well. Bring to a boil and simmer while you work on the other parts.
  4. Grind all Spicing items fine. Mix.
  5. Crush GARLIC and chop small.
  6. Chop ONION small
  7. Put Olive Oil, Sesame Oil and Butter in a skillet and fry Garlic slowly (these are low temperature oils). When it just starts to color, stir in Onion and fry slowly, stirring until translucent but not at all browned, then add Spicing items. Stir 2 minutes more and pour it all into the main pot.
  8. When potatoes are about cooked through (and not before or they'll harden), strain the Sauerkraut from the Brine. Pour the Brine into the pot. Pile the Sauerkraut on your cutting board and cut slices through it about 1-1/2 inches apart, then again at right angles (this makes it easier to eat with a spoon). Stir into the pot.
  9. Strain the Stock, discarding the potato peels and adding the liquid to the pot.
  10. Adjust liquid as you simmer slowly for at least a half hour. It's even better when you reheat the next day.   Caution:   If you use fully pearled barley (see Note-2), it tends to burn to the bottom, so use a low flame, a heavy bottomed pot, and keep stirring it up from the bottom.
  11. You can adjust acidity to your taste using sauerkraut juice (best), wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or malt vinegar. Don't use cider vinegar - its flavor conflicts!
NOTES:
  1. Potatoes:   White Rose are ideal for this recipe. They stay quite firm, but also thicken the soup just right. Red potatoes would disintegrate too much. Avoid "Yukon Gold" type potatoes like the plague - they'd be mush long before cooking is done. Do Not add Sauerkraut until the Potatoes are nearly fully cooked - acids harden the surface and they don't cook right. For details, see our Potatoes page.
  2. Barley:   The very white fully pearled barley common in the big supermarkets easily burns to the bottom of the pot and has to be watched very carefully. I now use lightly pearled barley which is much less of a problem. It is a little larger and light beige in color because it is not so severely milled.
  3. Chili, Dry Red:   I use 3 hot Thai chilis, which are barely detectable in this much soup, but in Southern California we just don't make soup without chilis.
  4. Sauerkraut:   Back when I originally wrote up this recipe (2004) I had abandoned Claussen, which had become absurdly expensive for cooking. I was using Meter's Wisconsin Kraut, a fine product, but now discontinued. Fortunately, today (2013) we can select from many fine brands imported from Poland. My favorite brand is Vitarol, because it is packed with plenty of brine - some brands are too dry. For details see our Sauerkraut page.
  5. Comments:   In my vegetarian days, I was unwilling to give up the Sauerkraut Soup I had so enjoyed in my childhood, so I developed this version, and still prefer it to meat versions. It is more complex than the traditional version, to produce needed flavors, but it's not difficult to make. It is, however, tricky to get the flavor right in small batches, so make the full recipe - it'll keeps well (even days at a cool room temperature) and reheats well - and you'll be eating a lot more of it than you anticipate anyway. For a traditional version, see Sauerkraut Soup.
  6. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
pov_sauerkraut1* 041205 orig   -   www.clovegarden.com
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