Sauerkraut comes in such large jars and I sometimes worry about picking one up because I just know that I will have that half used jar sitting in the fridge taking up space for months afterwards. Last week I could not resist trying the sauerkraut cabbage roll soup and that meant picking up one of those jars of sauerkraut. While I was enjoying a bowl of the soup it reminded me that it had been a while since I last made my favorite pirogies which are stuffed with sauerkraut, ham, mushrooms and onions. One thought led to the other and next I was wondering about a soup made with the sauerkraut, ham, mushrooms and onion flavour combination and I knew exactly how I was going to finish off that jar of sauerkraut! With the ham and sauerkraut the soup had the flavour department covered but I was thinking that I needed to bulk the soup up a bit and that sounded like the perfect opportunity to throw in a grain and barley seemed like the right choice. The pirogi filling inspired soup turned out really well and it certainly hit the spot on a cold winter day! It is always nice to find new ways to enjoy your favourite flavour combinations.
Ham and Mushroom Sauerkraut Soup
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 large onion (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1 (8 ounce) package cremini mushrooms (diced)
- 2 cups ham (chopped in a food processor)
- 2 cups sauerkraut (with liquid)
- 4 cups ham broth or chicken broth or chicken stock
- 1/3 cup barley
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a pan.
- Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the mushrooms and saute until all of the moisture has evaporated.
- Add the ham, sauerkraut, broth, barley, bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer until the barley is tender, about 30-45 minutes.