Kapusniak (Ukrainian Sauerkraut Soup) – THS

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Kapustnyak, or Kapusniak, is likely one of the heartiest soups I do know! It’s sharp, smokey and comforting, a fantastic soup to get pleasure from on the finish of an extended day. Ukrainians took benefit of cheap, broadly out there and extremely nutritious contemporary or fermented cabbage and made a variety of dishes with it.

I grew up consuming this soup each few weeks. Grandma made it with sauerkraut saved in barrels for winter and no matter pork meat or soup bones she had readily available. I at all times loved a bowl of Kapustnyak with a dollop of bitter cream and a slice of crusty bread, and I don’t know anybody who didn’t adore it. I hope you prefer it too!

Overhead view of a bowl of kapusniak with sour cream.

What’s Kapusniak?

Kapustnyak is a hearty Ukrainian sauerkraut soup with pork and greens. It’s a very wealthy, dense, and scrumptious dish that even choosy eaters love.

The primary substances in kapustnyak are sauerkraut and pork. Then varied root greens like onion, carrot, potatoes, and garlic are added. In Ukraine, we ate soup daily year-round.  Kapustnyak is extra of a winter soup as a result of contemporary produce shouldn’t be out there throughout colder months. Quite everybody had chilly storage stuffed with root veggies and pickled items together with sauerkraut. 

Kapustnyak is seasoned very merely. In Central Ukraine, we used “salo”, cured with salt pork fats just like bacon or lard, to saute the veggies in. It provides an immense quantity of taste together with cooked pork and broth. Then we add garlic, salt, pepper and dill. Additionally the juices from sauerkraut add a ton of taste to the broth.

There are a couple of different variations of Kapustnyak. One in every of them is thickened with a roux of butter and flour, leading to a thick broth. Zaporizhzhian kapustnyak comprises millet. One other variation is so as to add white beans.

What sort of meat can be utilized in Kapusniak?

If pork ribs usually are not out there, you should utilize any reduce of pork, like pork chops, of their place. Kielbasa would additionally style good, however that will be extra just like the Polish model of kapustnyak.

If ribs are too costly, 6-7 slices of bacon is one other nice choice. It can add quantity of pork taste and fats kapustnyak depends on.

You can too use fewer ribs, about 1 lb., to make this recipe extra budget-friendly, and even pork soup bones.

Overhead view of a pot of kapusniak.

What Sort of Sauerkraut to Use

Be certain that to purchase common sauerkraut, also referred to as German sauerkraut, in common grocery shops. Elements ought to be “cabbage and salt”. Don’t purchase sauerkraut in white wine. There is no such thing as a have to rinse or drain the sauerkraut. Use all of the juices for max taste.

What else are you able to add to Kapusniak?

Listed here are another nice substances that you may add to kapustnyak to take it to the subsequent stage:

  • Allspice: In some areas in Ukraine add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of allspice.
  • Thicker soup: It is not uncommon to see an addition of two tablespoons of millet, a little bit of mashed potatoes, or all-purpose flour to thicken the soup.
  • Contemporary cabbage: Some folks like so as to add 1-2 cups of shredded uncooked inexperienced cabbage to make it style brisker and resemble borscht. 
  • Contemporary parsley: In case you don’t have contemporary dill, be happy to make use of contemporary parsley. I don’t advocate utilizing dried dill weed as its style may be very sturdy and bitter. In Ukraine, it’s used largely for pickling. Or omit contemporary herbs altogether, soup can be scrumptious in any case!

What to serve with Kapusniak

Serve kapustnyak very heat with a dollop of bitter cream and a slice of rye bread or contemporary crusty bread like a baguette. This hearty soup is a meal by itself!

A spoon lifting a spoonful of kapusniak from the bowl.


Kapusniak is a hearty and budget-friendly soup made with sauerkraut, greens, and pork. It is the proper heat and comfortable bowl for winter!

Overhead view of a bowl of kapusniak with sour cream.

  • 2 lbs. pork quick ribs or pork facet ribs ($5.98)
  • 12 cups water ($0.00)
  • 3 bay leaves ($0.45)
  • 2 slices bacon* ($0.80)
  • 1 giant yellow onion, chopped ($0.37)
  • 2 giant carrots, chopped ($0.29)
  • 4 giant potatoes, peeled and cubed (2″ cubes) ($1.19)
  • 4 cups sauerkraut (or one 28oz. jar) ($1.74)
  • 1 tsp salt (or to style) ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly floor black pepper ($0.03)
  • 1 Tbsp contemporary dill (non-compulsory) ($0.27)
  • In a big pot, add the pork ribs, water, and bay leaves. Convey the water to a boil, then cut back the warmth to low, cowl and simmer for 45 minutes.

  • In the meantime, preheat a big skillet over medium warmth and saute the bacon for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the onions and carrots, and saute for one more 4 minutes, stirring often. Set the bacon and greens apart.

  • Take away the pork ribs from the pot, place them on a plate, and set them apart. Add the sauteed veggies, potatoes, garlic, sauerkraut, salt, and pepper to the pot with the broth. Convey to a boil after which prepare dinner on low warmth coated for 20 minutes or till potatoes are fork-tender.

  • In the meantime, reduce the cooled meat into small items. Add the chopped meat to the soup, stir, discard the bay leaves and modify the salt to style.

  • Serve the soup sizzling with a dollop of bitter cream and a slice of rye bread or baguette for dipping.

See how we calculate recipe prices right here.

*In case you would not have bacon, you should utilize 1 Tbsp olive oil to prepare dinner the greens.
*Retailer the soup within the fridge for as much as 5 days. 

Serving: 1.5cupsEnergy: 327kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 22gFats: 13gSodium: 728mgFiber: 6g

Learn our full diet disclaimer right here.

Side view of a bowl of kapusniak with a spoon.

How one can Make Kapusniak – Step by Step Images

Pork ribs and bay leave in a large pot.

Add 2 lbs. pork ribs to a pot together with three bay leaves and 12 cups of water. Place a lid on prime and produce the pot to a boil over excessive warmth. Scale back the warmth to low and let simmer for 45 minutes.

Cooked bacon in a skillet.

In the meantime, chop two slices of bacon and prepare dinner in a skillet over medium warmth for about 3 minutes to render a number of the fats. In case you don’t have bacon, you may simply use 1 Tbsp olive oil.

Chopped carrots and onions added to the skillet with the bacon.

Add one giant onion (diced) and two giant carrots (chopped) to the skillet with the bacon and proceed to sauté over medium for 4-5 extra minutes.

Vegetables added to the soup pot.

Take away the pork ribs from the pot. Add the sautéed bacon and greens, 4 giant potatoes (reduce into 2-inch items), 2 cloves of garlic (minced), and 28oz. sauerkraut, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper to the pot. Place a lid on the pot and produce it to a boil over excessive warmth, then cut back the warmth to low and let simmer for 20 minutes or till the potatoes are fork-tender.

Chopped pork ribs on a wood cutting board.

In the meantime, reduce the cooled pork ribs into small items.

Pork ribs being added back to the soup.

Take away the bay leaves, add the chopped pork ribs again to the soup, stir, and modify the salt to style, if you want.

Finished sauerkraut soup with a wooden spoon.

Serve the soup sizzling with some contemporary dill, a dollop of sauerkraut, and a few bread for dipping!

Overhead view of a bowl of kapusniak with a spoon.

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