This sauerkraut soup is a most unusual and delicious soup. The sauerkraut gives it a lovely texture and zing. It's hearty, filling and will warm your belly | natashaskitchen.com

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This sauerkraut soup is a most unusual and delicious soup. It’s also the perfect example of how the farmers and common folks of Ukraine made delicious foods with simple basic ingredients. My husband’s grandparents stored sauerkraut in barrels for winter. The sauerkraut was one of their primary vegetable sources during the cold months, so they got creative with it and made Kapustnyak (sauerkraut soup).

Can you even imagine not being able to go to the grocery store and buy broccoli or lettuce in the winter? We are truly blessed to live in the US! #sothankful ?

Back to this soup, the sauerkraut gives it a lovely texture and zing and the bacon provides a subtle smokiness. ?Excellent with fresh crusty bread. It’s hearty, filling and will warm your belly. My husband and I enjoyed leftovers for several days.

This recipe was inspired by one of my readers, Oksana, who shared her recipe for sauerkraut soup and bean soup with me. It was also inspired by Rachel Ray’s Ham, Bean and Bacon Soup. Thank you ladies for generously sharing your delicious recipes! 🙂

Ingredients for Sauerkraut Soup:

1 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz bacon, chopped
1 stick celery, finely diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
3 medium (1 lb) potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/3″ thick pieces
1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed, optional 
2-3 cups sauerkraut, triple rinsed & drained (we use 3 cups or about 2 lbs)
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water, or to taste
1 (15 oz can) white beans (click to learn how to cook your own beans)
Salt, Pepper and Mrs. Dash seasoning, to taste

This sauerkraut soup is a most unusual and delicious soup. The sauerkraut gives it a lovely texture and zing. It's hearty, filling and will warm your belly | natashaskitchen.com

How to Make Sauerkraut Soup (Kapustnyak):

1. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven (here’s the one I use). Add chopped bacon and sautee until browned then remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.

Sauerkraut Soup Recipe-7

2. Add finely chopped celery and onion. Saute until softened and golden (5 min).

Sauerkraut Soup Recipe-8

3. Add sliced carrots, potatoes, 1/4 cup quinoa (if using), 8 cups broth and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 15 min.

Sauerkraut Soup Recipe-2

4. Add 2-3 cups of well rinsed and drained sauerkraut and half of cooked bacon (I keep some for garnish), white beans with their juice, and 1 bay leaf and continue to cook until potatoes are tender (about 10 min). Season soup to taste (I added 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp Mrs Dash). Serve with fresh crusty bread.

Sauerkraut Soup Recipe-3

This sauerkraut soup is a most unusual and delicious soup. The sauerkraut gives it a lovely texture and zing. It's hearty, filling and will warm your belly | natashaskitchen.com

Sauerkraut Soup Recipe (Kapustnyak)

4.99 from 187 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Sauerkraut Soup in a bowl with a spoon beside it and three slices of bread
This sauerkraut soup is a most unusual and delicious soup. The sauerkraut gives it a lovely texture and zing and the bacon provides a subtle smokiness. It's hearty, filling and will warm your belly.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 8 large bowls of soup
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 8 oz bacon, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 3 medium, 1 lb potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/3" thick pieces
  • 1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed, optional
  • 2-3 cups sauerkraut, triple rinsed & drained (we use 3 cups or about 2 lbs)
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water, or to taste
  • 1 15 oz can white beans (click to learn how to cook your own beans)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt, Pepper and Mrs. Dash seasoning, to taste

Instructions

  • Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add chopped bacon and sautee until browned then remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
  • Add finely chopped celery and onion. Saute until softened and golden (5 min).
  • Add sliced carrots, potatoes, 1/4 cup quinoa (if using), 8 cups broth and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 15 min.
  • Add 2-3 cups of well rinsed and drained sauerkraut and half of cooked bacon (I keep some for garnish), white beans with their juice, and 1 bay leaf and continue to cook until potatoes are tender (about 10 min). Season soup to taste (I added 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp Mrs Dash). Serve with fresh crusty bread.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Russian
Keyword: Sauerkraut Soup
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
Cost to Make: $$
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This sauerkraut soup is a most unusual and delicious soup. The sauerkraut gives it a lovely texture and zing. It's hearty, filling and will warm your belly | natashaskitchen.com

All that coziness in a bowl ?. What’s your favorite “weird” soup? Maybe you fancy yourself a bowl of pickle soup or green borsch?

This sauerkraut soup is a most unusual and delicious soup. The sauerkraut gives it a lovely texture and zing. It's hearty, filling and will warm your belly | natashaskitchen.com

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

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Comments

  • Matt
    May 21, 2024

    I’ve made this three times and it turned out excellent each time. Every recipe I’ve tried on site site is fantastic, Natasha – thank you!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 21, 2024

      I’m so happy you loved it, Matt! I hope you try even more recipes soon!

      Reply

  • Shirley Titus
    April 5, 2024

    Love this recipe! Sauerkraut is not my favorite, however this soup is crazy good! Super easy recipe to follow using most ingredients I have on hand. I have made this several times and it is always a huge hit. Today I made it with carrots, onions and potatoes from my garden. Home grown made it even better. I also added 1 lb of sliced andouille sausage since my husband is a big meat eater and wanted more meat in it. Thank you Natasha!

    Reply

  • Lauren
    February 27, 2024

    I have made this soup twice now! The second time around, instead of bacon I cut open a few beer bratwurst and used ground bratwurst instead which was also delicious!

    I’m a huge fan of sauerkraut and will eat a spoonful plain. Sometimes I add a little non-rinsed sauerkraut as a garnish for an extra sauerkraut-y experience.

    Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 27, 2024

      You’re very welcome, Lauren!

      Reply

  • Kim
    February 16, 2024

    I’ve made this soup before with other recipes. One of my favorites. I didn’t have Ms dash and never used it before in this dish but tried to copy the spices and totally wrecked the soup. Tasted fine before I added any seasoning just with salt and pepper. Skip the dash 🙁

    Reply

  • karenf
    January 18, 2024

    We’ve made this 3 times, and its very good! We changed out the pork each time, and liked it best with ham hocks. Used barley instead of quinoa [it just seemed more authentic] did not add in the 2 cups of water, did not rinse OR drain the kraut.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 18, 2024

      That sounds great, Karen! Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

  • Karen B
    January 5, 2024

    Came across someone talking about a famous sauerkraut recipe they make. Had a huge jar of sauerkraut to use so googled recipes and your had such high ratings so thought I’d make it. Did have bacon so sliced up a Farmers Sausage. It was easy and my family loved it! Will definitely make this again! Thank you!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 5, 2024

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Karen!

      Reply

  • Nikolai
    December 7, 2023

    Made this today on a cold day. A unusual soup but good and easy to make for a change from regular stuff. I used 2 Italian sausages instead of bacon. It gave a soup a little bit of kick and meaty texture. My wife loved the soup. A toasted Chabata bread goes well with it. Added just a teaspoon of vinegar for my liking. By the way no need for extra 2 cups of water.
    Highly recommend to try Lamb Stew on a cold day with a fresh crusty bread. I am addicted to it now–it is that good!
    Thank you Natasha.
    PS. Natasha I’ve been cooking for years now and my oldest son just moved out on his own. Now he texts me photos of what he makes for dinner. And it looks good. As they say “it takes a village to raise a child.” Thank you.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 7, 2023

      You’re welcome, Nikolai!

      Reply

  • Clark Victor Johnson
    July 16, 2023

    This recipe found a home with the leftover huge jar from this weekend. I added a couple of leftover tablespoons of cinnamon sugar from the morning breakfast during the cooking. Excellent

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 16, 2023

      Awesome, we’re glad that you enjoyed it!

      Reply

  • Irene
    March 8, 2023

    Thank you for this recipe. I made it and it was comfort food, tastes just like my mother made it. I didn’t add the quinoa I know that was not in her recipe.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 9, 2023

      That’s wonderful, Irene! Thank you for sharing. I’m so glad you loved it.

      Reply

  • Paul
    February 3, 2023

    Just to add some other options, my Ukrainian Grammies would make this using spare ribs and yellow split peas. I like the idea of using bacon as it’s not always possible to find a small package of spare ribs.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 3, 2023

      Yum! That sounds amazing, Paul! Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

      Reply

  • Lynn
    February 3, 2023

    Pretty darn close to my Mom’s recipe she used in the 50s and 60s for us!! I hope it’s okay to post the additions I made in case others may enjoy them: I added a few cloves (how we disliked biting into them! lol), a few bay leaves, thickened with a slury of burned-flour and water (the same way I make dark gravy) to give it more richness. I agree, don’t drain the saurkraut at all, you need that ‘sour’ for the soup. An excellent recipe!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 3, 2023

      Thank you for sharing your suggestions, Lynn! I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe!

      Reply

  • Barbara Marco
    January 29, 2023

    Hi Natasha: have just made this today. I think I washed the sauerkraut too much. Can I add some apple cider vinegar to get it a little more sour now. Othere than that, is looks good and the house smells amazing.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 30, 2023

      Hi Barbara, I have not tested that but I saw that one of our readers added 2 teaspoons of cider vinegar at the end and liked it.

      Reply

  • Denise
    January 10, 2023

    I made this over the weekend and have been eating it all week. It’s delicious and so simple to make! Will definitely make it again!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 10, 2023

      Great to hear that you enjoyed this soup, Denise!

      Reply

  • Clare
    November 30, 2022

    Looking forward to making this soon! Does it need 3 lbs of potatoes, or 1 lb of potatoes?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 30, 2022

      Hi Clare, the recipe calls for three medium potatoes, which should measure about one pound in weight. I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • NatashasKitchen.com
    November 15, 2022

    Hi Cindy, yes- we rinse it to remove some of the sourness.

    Reply

  • Jennifer Weiss
    November 6, 2022

    Great recipe! I substituted cannelini for white beans, and vegan sausage for bacon, and butternut squash (which I already had cooked) for the potatoes. I added the quinoa which I already had cooked as well. This was such a great use of my veggies in the fridge. I’m so glad you posted this recipe, thank you!! p.s. I also love your borscht recipe.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 6, 2022

      You are very welcome! I’m so glad you tried this recipe and love it!

      Reply

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