Hearty Sauerkraut Soup

A substitute for stuffed cured cabbage leaves (sarma) this unstuffed hearty soup is stuffed (pun intended) with the same great flavors.
Course Main Course
Cuisine German
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Author Jas


  • 2 pounds sauerkraut
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ pound smoked slab of bacon
  • 1 pound Polish Kielbasa (or another smoked sausage)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup rice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4-5 black whole peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons oil or pork lard
  • 3 cups water plus more if needed
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Rinse sauerkraut and leave in a colander to drain. Dice bacon and onion, mince the garlic and slice the sausage.
  • Cook onion and bacon in oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until lightly browned. Add the sausage and cook until edges start to brown. Add ground beef and cook, stirring frequently, until no longer pink. Do not allow the beef to brown. 
  • Stir in sauerkraut, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, and paprika. Add one cup of water, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. 
  • Stir in tomato paste and remaining water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat. Add rice, cover and simmer for another 30 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.


~ Free Tip ~
Taste before adding salt as sauerkraut, bacon, and sausage are naturally salty.