Hello everyone! Today, I’m here with a perfect recipe for these ‘funny’ muggy days. It is a warming cabbage soup, which is commonly served in the Czech Republic.
Yes, we do cook it mainly in winter, but let’s be honest: it can brighten up some horrible grey summer days too!
Cabbage soup is hearty and rich and is traditionally served with a slice of sourdough bread. Often though, it can make a whole meal, as it is very filling and nutritious.
In the Czech Republic, you’d find it on most restaurants’ menus, but also in cafes and at refreshments points near bigger tourist attractions, including the mountains.
It is a great reward after a morning on ski slopes or mountain climbing.
And in our case, it’ll be an awesome weeknight dinner for the whole family!
Now, let’s take a look at the recipe.
Cabbage soup is often cooked from sauerkraut – it is easier to prepare, as you don’t need to slice the whole cabbage.
Another fact is, the sourness gives the soup a perfect sharp taste, as you don’t want it to be sweet.
And lastly, sauerkraut is known for its health benefits as it is rich on vitamins, minerals and probiotic cultures. Look for the chilled version to get the most of those. Your local Polish or German shops will have it.
My version of the soup contains a smoked sausage (kielbasa), but you can skip that in order to make it vegetarian.
I am using chestnut mushrooms, but you can swap those for dried wild or porcini mushrooms.
Cabbage soup (Czech recipe)
Ingredients for 8 servings:
- 400g sauerkraut (fermented cabbage)
- 1 onion
- 3 large potatoes
- 250g chestnut mushrooms or 50g dried wild or porcini mushrooms (these need to be soaked in water 2hrs prior cooking)
- 150g smoked sausage
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp marjoram
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
- optional: cream for serving
- Drain the sauerkraut using a sieve.
- Chop the cabbage roughly on a chopping board, so the slices are shorter and easier to eat.
- Place the cabbage into a large stock pot, cover with water and set on high heat. Add the bay leaf and bring to boil. Once bubbling, lower the heat to medium and leave to simmer for about 30 mins.
- In the meantime, prepare the potatoes: Peel them, wash and cut into small dices (about 1cm thick). Cook the potatoes in a separate pot (sauce pan) for only about 7-10 mins, depending on the size. They need to be just soft, but not too soft. It’s important to cook them separately, as the acids from the sauerkraut would prevent them from cooking (they would stay raw!).
- Wash and slice the mushrooms. If using dried ones, remember to soak the in advance, drain them. Add the mushrooms to the soup.
- Keep checking the water level of the soup, so there is enough to cover the cabbage. Add more water if needed and stir occasionally so it doesn’t burn from the bottom.
- Chop the onion and cut the sausage into thin slices.
- Add the oil into a frying pan and bring to medium-high heat. When hot, add the sausage bits and fry for a couple of minutes from both sides until brown. Add the chopped onion, toss and fry for about 3-4 mins or until the onion is soft and glossy.
- Add the fried sausage and onion into the soup and stir.
- Add the cooked potatoes and season with paprika and marjoram.
- In a mug, mix the flour with 150ml of water. Using a fork, stir the mixture until smooth.
- Turn the heat up and bring the soup to boil. Add the flour and water mix the soup, whilst stirring. This will make it nice and thick. Lower the heat again and leave to simmer for 5 mins, stirring occasionally.
- Serve with a sourdough bread and a spoonful of cream if you like. Enjoy!
Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 40 mins || Total cooking time: 50 mins