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.
Recipe from Food & Wine America's Greatest New Cooks
3 quarts chicken stock or low-sodium broth
One 25-ounce jar of sauerkraut with brine
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced
1/2 cup chopped pitted prunes
1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
2 Hungarian wax peppers—halved, seeded and thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 serrano chiles, seeded and thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
Four 10-ounce duck legs, skin and excess fat removed
3/4 pound Gyulai sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices (see Note)
4 large tomatoes, diced
Mashed potatoes, for serving
How to Make It
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.
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.
The soup can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Reheat gently before serving.
Gyulai, a Hungarian smoked sausage, is available at Hungarian butchers and amazon.com. Spanish chorizo will also work in this recipe.
Dry, malty English bitter beer: Fuller’s ESB
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