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 SoupsRecipe from Food & Wine America's Greatest New Cooks 

Chef Nicolaus Balla
Nicolaus Balla


Credit: © Christina Holmes

Recipe Summary test

15 mins
1 hr 45 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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