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Quick Dinners–Sauerkraut Soup

by Karen on January 30th, 2011

When my husband and I were dating we loved going to a dark, quiet, Eastern European restaurant on 1st Avenue in downtown Seattle called Labuznik, owned by Peter Cipra.  The restaurant had a 20+ year history but closed in 1998.  One of my favorite dishes there was  sauerkraut soup.   At the time, I was just learning to cook and found a recipe in The Frugal Gourmet’s cookbook for the soup and though it doesn’t say so in the recipe I swear that the author mentioned somewhere that his inspiration for the recipe came from Labuznik.

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Sauerkraut Soup

(this recipe uses leftover lean pork)

This is a great way to use leftover pork–last night we slow-cooked some pork shoulder on the grill, in the rain!  The pork was quite flavorful but any leftover pork will work.  Chopping the cooked pork, onion and quickly assembling the soup takes just a few minutes–simmer for 30 minutes and it is time to eat dinner.

3 slices bacon
3/4 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2-3/4 pound leftover cooked pork, diced
2 cups sauerkraut, in a glass jar
1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon caraway seed
8 cups gluten free beef broth (Pacific Foods makes a good one)
roux of 1 1/2 tablespoon sweet rice flour and 1 1/2 tablespoons buttter
pepper and sugar to taste (optional)
sour cream for garnish

In a large sauce pan cook the bacon until crisp, drain on paper toweling then coarsely chop.  Saute the onion along with the garlic in the bacon fat until soft.  Add the pork, bacon, sauerkraut, tomato paste, paprika, caraway seed, and beef broth.  Let simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Thicken with the roux and add pepper and sugar.  Serve soup hot with a little sour cream to garnish.

Tip: it helps to add some hot soup stock to the roux, mix well then add to the soup.

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