Kapustnica (Slovakian Sauerkraut & Sausage Soup)

Kapustnica (Slovakian Sauerkraut & Sausage Soup)

I learned how to make this delicious soup when visiting a friend in Slovakia! This soup is usually made around Christmas and winter time in Slovakia but is great for any day if you ask me. It's made with sauerkraut, smoked ham hock, sausage, mushrooms and flavorful spices like caraway and paprika. Spices will vary depending on the family. Even if you can't find some ingredients like the ham/sausage, you can probably get a similar flavor with appropriate substitutions.

Suggested substitutions:
- Smoked ham - try some kind of other ham or smoked bacon maybe
- Hungarian/Polish sauage - Kielbasas, paprika sausage, etc. could work okay
- Dried mushrooms - 1 pack fresh mushrooms, though you won't get as much flavor
- Marjoram - try thyme or something similar



2 servings
  1. 150 g smoked pork or ham, or ham hocks
  2. 1/4 tsp allspice or nutmeg
  3. 1 bay leaf
  4. 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  5. 1 cup sauerkraut (about 400 g)
  6. 1 small onions, sliced thinly
  7. 2 tsp paprika powder
  8. 1 clove garlic, minced
  9. 50 g dried mushrooms
  10. 1 Hungarian or Polish-style smoked sausage (1 small or 1/2 large)
  11. 1/2 tsp sugar
  12. 1/2 Tbsp vinegar
  13. 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  14. to taste Plain yogurt, sour cream or cream (for garnish)


120 mins
  1. Change

    This is what the smoked ham hock and sausage in Slovakia looks like. You can probably use any kind of smoked ham or non-sweetened smoked pork (maybe even smoked bacon?) as a substitute.

  2. Change

    Add smoked ham, 800 ml (3.5 US cups) water, bay leaf, pepper, allspice, and 1/2 tsp salt to a pot. Bring to a boil, turn heat to low, cover with lid and simmer for 30 minutes.

  3. Change

    Meanwhile, slice onions thinly. In a separate frying pan, heat 1-2 Tablespoons oil and sauté onions until translucent, but not brown (about 5 minutes).

  4. Change

    When onions are soft, mix in 2 tsp paprika and stir into onions. Remove from heat.

  5. Change

    Add sauerkraut to the pot, with a little bit of the juice, after initial 30 minutes is up.

  6. Change

    Next stir in the onions, mushrooms and garlic. Cover with lid and simmer for another 30 minutes.

  7. Change

    Remove ham from soup. Cut meat from bone (if any) and cut off any of the thick pieces of skin. Chop up the meat into small pieces.

  8. Change

    Return ham to pot and simmer another 20 minutes. If you have some red wine, add 1/2 cup or so to give the soup even more flavor!

  9. Change

    Cut up the sausage and add it to the pot along with the vinegar, sugar and marjoram (or other herbs like herbes de Provence, thyme, etc.).

  10. Change

    Cook for another 5-10 minutes. Add a little more vinegar, salt, pepper, and/or sugar to adjust to your taste. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, plain yogurt, etc. over top.

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