Sauerkraut Cabbage Roll Soup

Sauerkraut Cabbage Roll Soup

It is probably time for a little break from kimchi. :) Speaking of fermented cabbage, my second favorite form of fermented cabbage is sauerkraut though I never seem to know what to do with it. Sauerkraut is of course great in reuben sandwiches and it goes really well in my favorite pirogies but it always comes in such huge jars and I often seem to be stumped with how to finish the rest of the jar. Needless to say, I am always looking for new ways to enjoy sauerkraut and I recently came across a tasty looking ground beef and sauerkraut soup on It's All Gouda . After seeing that it included sauerkraut the next thing that I noticed was that it included all of the main ingredients of stuffed cabbage rolls where the sauerkraut took the place of the cabbage and then there was the ground beef, the rice and tomatoes. I really liked the sound of a tangy cabbage roll soup with sauerkraut and it quickly made it to my meal plan.

I pretty much left the recipe as it was but I did seriously consider adding even more flavour with some salty bacon but in the interest of keeping the meal more on the healthy side I opted to skip it. The main change that I made was switching the seasoning over to a paprika based seasoning which seemed to go better with my vision of a stuffed cabbage roll soup. My final change, once again thinking about eating healthier, was to use brown rice rather than white rice. This soup is pretty easy to make with only about 15-20 minutes of work followed by some simmering time to cook the rice and let he flavours mingle. The sauerkraut cabbage roll soup had an amazing aroma while cooking and it finished with a gorgeously vibrant shade red. Adding the juice along with the sauerkraut gave the soup a great tang that in my opinion really made this soup shine. It was just like eating stuffed cabbage rolls in soup form! The next time I make cabbage rolls I think that I am going to have to try adding sauerkraut to the filling.

Sauerkraut Cabbage Roll Soup

Sauerkraut Cabbage Roll Soup

Servings: 4
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup long grained rice (I used brown)
  • 3-4 cups beef broth
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups sauerkraut (with liquid)
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup parsley (chopped, optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  1. Brown the ground beef and set aside draining the grease from the pan.
  2. Heat the oil in the pan.
  3. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  5. Add the rice and toast for a few minutes.
  6. Add the broth and deglaze the pan.
  7. Add the beef, tomatoes, sauerkraut, paprika, bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce the heat and simmer until the rice is cooked, about 20 minutes (50 minutes for brown rice).
  9. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley.
  10. Serve garnished with sour cream.

Note: I prefer my soups to be more like stews so I only used 3 cups of liquid but if you prefer something soupier go ahead and use 4 cups of liquid instead.


Julie said...

Yum! Sounds like an awesome soup to me.

redforever said...

Sauerkraut freezes very well Kevin, especially if you freeze it in its own juice.

And here is how I always cook my cabbage rolls, to get that real authentic old European taste.

I put some sauerkraut in the bottom of the pan or dish that I am cooking the cabbage rolls in. Then as the cabbage rolls cook and simmer in their liquid, some of the sauerkraut flavor gets distributed throughout.

Also, you can buy fresh sauerkraut heads in the produce section. If you like a really strong sauerkraut flavor, make your cabbage rolls with sauerkraut cabbage leaves. Be careful how much salt you use in the rest of the recipe though.

redforever said...

One other quick suggestion for you Kevin. You had mentioned that you were thinking of using bacon but then decided not to.

You can get some of that smokey bacon flavor without actually using bacon. Buy a small smoked ham hock and cook it up in water. Use that liquid in the cooking of your cabbage rolls. Use the rest of the broth in a split pea soup.

I usually use half smokey ham broth and half tomato juice to cook my cabbage rolls in.

You could also cut the meat off that cooked ham hock, mince it and add it to the rest of the meat mixture that you use in your cabbage rolls.

Toni said...

I've been practically living on soups recently, and this one sounds great! Thanks for giving me the solution to leftover sauerkraut.

MaryMoh said...

I love soup with a lot vegetables. This looks delicious.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A fabulous soup! a perfect blend of ingredients!



Joanne said...

It's like a cabbage roll DECONSTRUCTED. So hearty. And I love that color - a vivid red.

eatenword said...

Oh, yum. That soup looks fantastic and combines some of my favorite foods.

I love sauerkraut, too, and my favorite way to eat it is to fry up onions and garlic, add drained & rinsed sauerkraut, water to cover, bring to a boil, then simmer for at least an hour or leave on very, very low heat for 3-5 hours. Just before your're going to eat it, add sliced kielbasa (I like turkey, but I think beef is more typical) and heat through. Serve with toasted, buttered rye bread (with seeds, of course).

Virginia bed and breakfast | Victorian inn bed and breakfast | Romantic bed and breakfasts said...

I love sauerkraut, what a great read and an amazing recipe. I will be sure to make this one this week. I am sure this will jazz things up a bit. Great job!!! Much appreciated!

Best Regards,

Ed Schenk said...

WE used to make something like this at the Polish restaurant I worked at using the leftover cabbage rolls and sauerkraut.

Maria said...

Great way to use cabbage!

Kim said...

I eat sauerkraut cold out of the jar with salt & pepper - love it! Kinda like coleslaw. And it is great on a grilled sausage of course.

carolyn said...

What a terrific idea! Seems easier than rolling cabbage.

Patricia said...

If you want to make this even more healthy, substitute ground chicken or turkey for the ground beef. It shouldn't affect the flavour.


Erin said...

Here's another great dish that uses saurkraut: Salt and pepper 1 -2 pounds boneless pork ribs. Place them in the bottom of your crockpot. Slice 1/2 an onion in thin slices. Throw that in on top of the ribs. Thinly slice an apple. Throw that in. Then dump a can of saurkraut on top of it all. If it looks a little dry, add 1/2 c. water or so. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or high for 4 to 6 hours. Serve over mashed potatoes. Sounds weird, smells aweful, tastes great!

Rambling Tart said...

Oh wow! Cabbage rolls in soup form?! I think I just died and went to heaven.

Sweet and Savory said...

I took out a lot of chopped beef and chopped chicken and plan to cook a few meals. All I need is the sauerkraut to make this but I may substitute cabbage, this time around.

It just sounds good.

Cassandra said...

My mom puts some sauerkraut in her cabbage roll sauce to make it tangy and to help the fresh cabbage leaves take on some of that flavor. I like the idea of making the rolls into a soup because honestly it can be a bit tedious making rolls. If you are having a craving for cabbage rolls (like I am now!)and are short on time, this would be good!

Mags said...

Oh my hubby is going to love you for this recipe. Myself, I'd like to curse you in advance for the flatulence it will cause him...LOL

comfycook said...

Kevin, I made the soup using cabbage, lacking sauerkraut, and it is wonderful. Thank you. I am about to blog it, hopefully tonight.

Anonymous said...

we make german fried sauerkraut with noodles.

put sauerkraut in pan with some finely chopped onions, a tablespoon of butter and a few tbsp of water. cover and steam for 4-5 minutes, then take off lid and sit still in pan for a few minutes til it browns. add salt and pepper liberally and mix. let sit again for it to brown..
in the mean time, make your noodles.

put a heaping cup of flour in a bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt. In a cup, add 1 egg and beat with 2 tbsp water. Add egg mix to flour and stir to make a dough. cut dough into thin and flat slices into boiling water. boil for 5 minutes, then strain. In fryin pan, melt butter, then add noodles. let sit still under browned. add salt and pepper. add sauerkraut mixture. mix together and eat!

PeggyR said...

OMG this sounds so good!

pita bread said...

I just saw this soup and am almost sorry Winter is over, because it seems like a perfect meal on a cold day. Well, will try it anyway.

Kari said...

I made this tonight and it was a bit too tangy for my taste - I actually added a bit of sugar to tame it down.
I think it'd be really great with just cabbage in place of the saurkraut.

Wendy said...

Kevin: I came across this recipe today and decided to try to veganize it. It tastes WONDERFUL! Check it out.

Diane from Ohio said...

I make a different soup almost every Monday. Today I tried this one & it was delicious. My hubby, who is known for his homemade German cabbage rolls, loved it! So much quicker & easier to make too. I didn't have 2 types of paprika so I just used traditional one. Also, I used Bavarian kraut with caraway seeds. Will definitely make this one again! ~ Thanks ~


I cut this recipe in half for this evening's dinner and used chicken broth because that is all I had onhand. This recipe has a very interesting flavor and is very hearty. Although I used the rice called for, I may leave it out next time, as we try to be as grain-free as possible. This is a great one pot meal and easy to throw together very quickly.

Anonymous said...

Cabbage rolls are traditionally made in Croatia/Slovenia by eliminating the tomatoes. The dish is called Sarma and the cabbage rolls contain a ground meat mixture of 5 parts beef, 3 parts pork, and 2 parts lamb along with uncooked rice. The rolls are placed in a deep pan and covered with sauerkraut. Simmer for a couple of hours and don't forget to add garlic to the ground meat. It is traditionally served with polenta; we use half corn meal and half potatoes for the polenta.

Anonymous said...

It's fall in Florida, which means it's 57 degrees and I'm freezing... ridiculous :-/ I'm currently bundled up on the couch under an embarrassing number of layers and eating a hot bowl of this soup... it's delicious! I'll be making this again. I used 3 cups broth, and subbed cayenne in place of hot paprika. It's substantial enough to stand alone, but might be good served over mashed potatoes as well.

Anonymous said...

My dad's sauerkraut. Very easy. Heat oven to 200. Empty two large jars of kraut, with juice, into a big roasting pan, the kind your grandma baked turkeys in. Core and quarter one large, sweet apple (macintosh are good) peel and quarter one large yellow onion. Add to kraut. Now, we used to use a pork butt, however as we're all older and watching our red meats intake, we now nestle two or three large turkey thighs into the kraut. If using pork, a 3 pound butt should do. Add about one and a half to two cups of apple cider (it depends on how juicy the kraut is. It should be a little sloppy when it goes in the oven). Cover, and bake slowly in the oven for up to six hours. The turkey comes out tasting exactly like pork! I swear! And the kraut breaks down and becomes incredibly tender, sweet, carmalized in spots, and very delicious. Serve over mashed potatoes. Feeds multitudes, or freezes well, too. We never added the traditional spices like caraway, juniper berries, or anything else. Just ground black pepper to serve.

Kevin Lynch said...

Anonymous: That sounds like a great way to do turkey!

lynnbear17 said...

You can also use extra sauerkraut to make an Amish coleslaw, it is delicious and you would never know it was sauerkraut. Try it and you will be pleasantly surprised.

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