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Smoked Sausage & Sauerkraut Soup
© Christina Holmes

Smoked Sausage & Sauerkraut Soup

  • ACTIVE: 15 MIN

This tangy-spicy soup is based on the Slovak Christmas soup called kapustnica. The beauty of the soup is its simplicity: There’s no browning involved; the ingredients just simmer together in one pot. “You can serve the soup over mashed potatoes or cook diced potato into the base,” Nicolaus Balla says.

Slideshow: Warming Soups

  1. 3 quarts chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  2. One 25-ounce jar of sauerkraut with brine
  3. 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced
  4. 1/2 cup chopped pitted prunes
  5. 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, finely diced
  6. 1 onion, finely diced
  7. 2 Hungarian wax peppers—halved, seeded and thinly sliced
  8. 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  9. 2 serrano chiles, seeded and thinly sliced
  10. Kosher salt
  11. Freshly ground black pepper
  12. Four 10-ounce duck legs, skin and excess fat removed
  13. 3/4 pound Gyulai sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices (see Note)
  14. 4 large tomatoes, diced
  15. Mashed potatoes, for serving
  1. In a large pot, combine the stock with the sauerkraut and its brine. Stir in the mushrooms, prunes, leek, onion, wax peppers, garlic, serrano chiles and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Add the duck legs and sausage and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until the duck is tender, about 1 hour.
  2. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the tomatoes. Cover and let stand until the tomatoes are softened, about 30 minutes. Bring the soup back to a simmer and season with salt and pepper. Serve over mashed potatoes.
Make Ahead The soup can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Reheat gently before serving. Notes Gyulai, a Hungarian smoked sausage, is available at Hungarian butchers and Spanish chorizo will also work in this recipe.

Suggested Pairing

Dry, malty English bitter beer: Fuller’s ESB

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