Last Updated on April 14, 2021
I know that this easy sauerkraut soup recipe will provoke mixed feelings. Some people will love it others will not enjoy it at all. The sour taste of the firm to bite “kraut” is quite special.
For some people it is “heaven on earth” and others will find it just awful. For those on the fence, maybe you'll keep reading when I tell you that this soup is also perfectly suitable for weight loss?
Even though it is considered to be an original German dish, sauerkraut probably comes from China.
The impressive health benefits alone motivate me to share our favorite homemade sauerkraut recipe with you. More about the kraut's benefits you'll find at the end of this blog post.
Great meal for weight management
The first recipe which comes to mind is probably the typical German specialty “bratwurst and sauerkraut”. But cooking “kraut” doesn't have to result in a heavy and fatty meal taking hours in your slow cooker or dutch oven.
This simple, light and quick sauerkraut recipe can be ready within 30 minutes. If weight management or cleansing is your goal you will love this soup.
That's what you'll need
- red beets
- vegetable broth
- red pepper powder
- olive oil
- bay leaf (optional)
Step-by step Photos
In the following I've visualized the few cooking steps.
Step 1: Roast chopped onions in a bit of olive oil for 2 minutes over medium heat. Roasting will give this dish a bit more “umami”.
Step 2: Add carrots, beets, celery roots, potatoes and caraway. Fry for another minute.
Step 3: Stir in sauerkraut and red pepper powder. Continue frying for another minute or so.
Step 4: Fill up with vegetable broth, add bay leaf (optional), cover and bring to a boil. Simmer at medium heat for 25 minutes until the sauerkraut is tender.
Step 5: Remove bay leaf and serve soup in plates with some whole grain bread.
Watch how to make it
Sauerkraut soup recipe
A delicious and skinny cabbage dish
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 25
- Total Time: 30
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 piece of celery root, finely diced
- 2 small red beets, peeled and diced
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 5 cups/500 g sauerkraut, strained, chopped
- 1 tsp sweet pepper powder
- 1000 ml hot vegetable stock
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- bay leaf (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large soup pot heat up oil, add onion and fry for 2 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Add carrots, potatoes, beets, celery root, caraway, and fry for another minute.
- Stir in sauerkraut, sweet pepper powder and continue frying for another minute or so.
- Fill up with vegetable broth, cover and bring to boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer at medium-high heat for 25 minutes until cabbage is tender.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Tip 1: As the kraut itself is salty DO NOT add salt until the soup is fully cooked
- Tip 2: I love to serve it with some crusty bread, preferably whole grain or rye bread
- Serving Size: 4
How to make sauerkraut
The basis for sauerkraut, you might have guessed it, is a white head of cabbage. It is the same cabbage my famous cabbage soup is based on. First, they grate or cut the cabbage thinly, mash it and then traditionally ferment it in a barrel. So here we have it again – another meal, based on the so important cruciferous vegetables.
Sauerkraut health benefits and nutrients
Loaded with active probiotics and fibers, the vegetable has beneficial effects on the health of your digestive tract and cleanses the bowel. A recent study found that probiotic-rich foods can also balance immune function and reduce allergic conditions. (1)
The nutrients it contains include vitamin B12, which is required for the formation of blood and the structure of the cell nuclei, in addition to vitamin C, which increases the body's immune defense.
Vitamin B12 is usually found only in foods of animal origin (meat, especially liver, fish, milk, eggs). It is present in sauerkraut as a bacterial waste product.
Other favorable ingredients in this fermented food are minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, trace elements such as iodine, iron, and zinc as well as vitamins B6 and K.
Are you a vegan?
As a vegan, you know that vitamin B12 is a critical nutrient and has to be supplemented. Although B12 is present in some fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, or tempeh, its very low content, does not make it a reliable source for the supply of vitamin B12 in a vegan diet.
No need to cook
By the way, raw sauerkraut is particularly beneficial for body and health. Those who can tolerate it should enjoy a raw sauerkraut nutrition as often as possible. For variation, you can also mix the raw kraut with grapes, pineapple pieces or small diced red pepper.
If you prefer to cook it, don't overdo it. 25 minutes are more than enough because long cooking destroys vitamins and leaves the vegetables rather bland and lax. For a sauerkraut salad, it is not necessary anyway, because the fermented cabbage is already cooked.
If you leave out the beets, add 2 tablespoons sour cream and some mushrooms to the soup you'll almost have a vegetarian “kapusnyak”. This is an Ukranian sauerkraut meal which in original includes also smoked or fresh pork spareribs.
If weight loss is your goal, then make sure to also check out my other plant-based vegetable soup based on cabbage.