Poland Polish Cookery

Sauerkraut Soup (Kapusniak)

One of the biggest surprises for me when I started digging into Polish Cookery was that the recipe for borscht (beet soup) lost out over this delightful sauerkraut soup known as kapusniak. Unfamiliar to me at the time, I didn’t necessarily have high hopes that sauerkraut would make a memorable soup. I have since learned that this dish is a rather popular staple of Eastern Europe in diverse variations.

My fear was that the sauerkraut would overpower the palette. However, the brilliance of this dish is that the bright acidity of the kraut is balance perfectly by the savory fat of the bacon and then unity by a full bodied and developed broth. Entirely beguiling. thoroughly addictive and the perfect cure for those lingering winter blues.


1 lb sauerkraut
1/2 lb pork meat and bones for stock
8 cups water
1 onion, baked
Veggies for stock: 1 celery, 1 parsnip, 1 parsley root, 2 carrots, 1 celery root, parsley
4-6 dried mushrooms
1 bay leaf
6 peppercorns
2 strips bacon, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 tbs flour
1 tsp sugar
Polish Sausage (optional)


  1. Place sauerkraut and pork in soup pot with water and bring to a boil, skimming fat as you go.
  2. Add baked onion, veggies, and mushrooms and simmer for 2 hours.
  3. Remove meat and bones, chop meat and reserve.
  4. Remove mushrooms and slice.
  5. Saute bacon and onion in frying pan.
  6. Add flour that has been brown already.
  7. Add as much stock to create a sauce, add to soup and bring everything to a boil.
  8. Add sausages if desired.