Smoked Sausage & Sauerkraut Soup

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

Recipe from Food & Wine America's Greatest New Cooks
  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

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  • 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
  • Kosher salt
  • 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 this recipe

  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.


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

Contributed By Photo © Christina Holmes

503599 recipes/smoked-sausage-and-sauerkraut-soup 2013-12-06T23:49:22+00:00 Nicolaus Balla fall|winter|stewing|christmas|eastern-european|soups-and-stews|8|make-ahead|web-exclusive|weeknight-dinner recipes,smoked-sausage-and-sauerkraut-soup 503599

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