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Sauerkraut Soup (Kapustinca from Slovakia)

Sauerkraut soup is hearty and perfect on a cold winter day. A true comfort food.

Course Soup
Cuisine Slovakia
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 419 kcal
Author Darlene at International Cuisine



  • 1 pound smoked ham hock
  • 1 pound pork spareribs preferably smoked, separated if on the rack
  • 3 quarts water
  • 2 cups 1 pound sauerkraut, drained
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 6 prunes pitted and cut in half
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • One 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 large garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 ounces dried porcini or shiitake mushrooms soaked in water to cover for 30 minutes, drained, and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika


  1. Place the ham hock and the spareribs in a large pot and cover with the water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook, skimming the surface of foam and adding water if it is evaporating, until the meat can fall off the bone, about 3 hours. Remove the meat from the pot and dice, discarding the bones and fat.
  2. Return the meat to the pot and add the sauerkraut, onion, prunes, wine, tomato paste, garlic, mushrooms, caraway, and marjoram. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 3/4 hours.
  3. Add the sausage and continue to cook over low heat for 45 minutes. Remove the sausage and cut it into slices, return it to the soup, and simmer while you prepare the roux.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, make the paprika roux, called zaprazka. Melt the butter over medium heat, then stir in the flour and paprika to form a roux. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add to the soup, and stir to blend. Serve hot.

Recipe Notes

Please note that if you are using a bread bowl, simply cut off the top of a round sourdough bread loaf and scoop out the inside.  Heat the shell in the oven until warm and the outside gets a little bit crusty.  Serve the hot soup in the bread bowl. 

Nutrition Facts
Sauerkraut Soup (Kapustinca from Slovakia)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 419 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 100mg33%
Sodium 579mg25%
Potassium 757mg22%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 23g46%
Vitamin A 600IU12%
Vitamin C 11mg13%
Calcium 58mg6%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.