Sauerkraut Soup: a delicious, healthy German soup recipe for Sauerkrautsuppe

Total time: 50 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By Cookist

This autumn, when you're in the mood for a delicious, hearty, nutritious soup to keep the cold at bay, why not make a batch of sauerkraut soup? Called Sauerkrautsuppe in German, this exquisite soup is both incredibly tasty and healthy. German sauerkraut soup has it all – it's tantalizingly tangy, thanks to the sauerkraut, with mouthwatering pieces of savory bacon, and smoky paprika.

Sauerkraut is a famous German superfood packed with various essential vitamins, minerals, and gut-friendly probiotics. Sauerkraut soup is a perfect way to get more of this amazing superfood into your diet. It's super easy to make and is perfect with a few slices of freshly baked crusty bread to mop up your bowl.

Sauerkraut Soup Ingredients

You can use bagged, canned, or jarred sauerkraut for your soup, just make sure to drain it well and squeeze out the extra liquid before you start cooking.

You'll also need onions, garlic, and pancetta or bacon to help make the soup extra hearty and delicious.

To season the soup, use paprika – either sweet or smoked paprika work fine.

A little tomato paste adds a bright pop of acidity.

Vegetable broth is the broth of choice for the sauerkraut soup base. You can use homemade or store-bought.

Finally, you'll need a dollop of sour cream to finish the soup before serving.

How to Make Sauerkraut Soup

It's so easy to make sauerkraut soup, and it takes less than an hour from start to finish. Here's what to do. First, sauté the pancetta for 5 minutes in a pot over medium-high heat. Turn the heat down to medium, then stir in the onion. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes until the onions become translucent and soft.

Stir in the potato and garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Mix in the tomato paste and paprika, followed by the sauerkraut. Pour the broth into the pot and give the ingredients a good few stirs. Let the soup come to a boil. Pop the lid on the pot, and lower the heat.

Leave the soup to simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until the potatoes become tender. Season the sauerkraut soup with salt and pepper, then turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream. Serve your sauerkraut soup with plenty of crusty bread, and enjoy!


Tips for Making German Sauerkraut Soup

Make sure you squeeze out as much liquid from your sauerkraut as possible, especially if the sauerkraut is kept in vinegar.

For the most authentic tasting sauerkraut soup, try and buy German sauerkraut. It has a milder flavor compared to American sauerkraut.

If you don't want your sauerkraut to be too sour, rinse it under cold water before adding it to the soup.

If you don't have pancetta, you can use bacon as a substitute.

Serve your sauerkraut soup with crusty bread or fresh dinner rolls. Enjoy it as a main dish or as an appetizer or side with pork chops, roasted pork loin, sauerbraten, German braised red cabbage, bratwurst, or other classic German dishes.

Sauerkraut Soup Variations

There are loads of fabulous sauerkraut soup variations.

Polish sauerkraut soup is similar to German sauerkraut soup but is made with Polish sausage and more vegetables including celeriac, parsnips, leeks, and carrots. It often is garnished with fresh chopped herbs and can have additional spices like juniper berries and caraway seeds.

Russian sauerkraut soup is made with pieces of pork shoulder or pork ribs. Like the Polish sauerkraut soup, it also has plenty of hearty root vegetables added to the soup and is sometimes garnished with fresh dill.

You can make a vegetarian sauerkraut soup by leaving out the pancetta.

For extra flavor, use chicken or ham broth instead of vegetable broth.

To make slow cooker sauerkraut soup, cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.


How to Store Sauerkraut Soup

Transfer leftover sauerkraut soup to an airtight container and store it in the fridge. Enjoy within 2 to 3 days. You can reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat.

Can You Freeze Sauerkraut Soup?

Of course! You can easily freeze your sauerkraut soup so you can have it whenever you get a craving! For best results, leave out the sour cream. Dairy products don't usually freeze well. You can add the sour cream after reheating the soup.

yellow onions, diced
garlic, finely minced
2 to 3 cloves
large potato, diced
pancetta or bacon, diced
5 ounces
Tomato paste
2 tbsp
2 tsp
4 cups
Vegetable broth
4 cups
salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream
2 to 3 tbsp


Start by making vegetable broth.

Drain the sauekraut in order to squeeze out the excess liquid.

Heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the pancetta for 5 minutes until the fat begins to render.

Stir in onion and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the onions turn translucent, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the potato and garlic. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste and paprika.

Mix in the sauerkraut.

Pour in the vegetable broth, then stir well. Bring to a boil. Put the lid on the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until the potatoes become tender.

Season with salt and pepper.

Take the pot off the heat and stir in the sour cream, then transfer the sauerkraut soup in a serving bowl.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and chopped chive. Enjoy!


You can use low-sodium vegetable broth if you're concerned about sodium intake.

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