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Sauerkraut Soup

Sauerkraut soup is a staple soup recipe in the German cuisine, but it also loved worldwide. Here’s how to make a delicious and healthy sauerkraut soup. 

German gastronomy is a very special type of cuisine that reveals everything you need to know about the German lifestyle and culture. Among all the famous foods and drinks Germany is known and loved for – such as sausages (Bratwurst, Currywurst), schnitzel and, of course, beer, there is one very special and unforgettable dish I want to talk about today. The sauerkraut soup, of course!

easy sauerkraut soup

In order to begin talking about Sauerkraut soup, we must first understand what “sauerkraut” actually is. Sauerkraut, which literally means “sour cabbage” in German, is a fermented/pickled cabbage cut in small pieces. The fermentation process is similar to the one used for kimchi and it includes lactic acid bacteria and salt. Sometimes even caraway seeds or white wine are added in order to create some popular variations. The result? A very special and distinctive sour flavor that any German knows by heart.

german sauerkraut soup recipe

Sauerkraut can be used as an appetizer served on bread or as a warm side dish together with the famous German sausages or any other type of pork meat. Germans usually serve these dishes on New Year’s Eve, as it is said that sauerkraut brings good luck. Another popular use for this ingredient is the sauerkraut soup, also known as “Sauerkrautsuppe” in Germany, which we will be talking about today.

healthy sauerkraut soup recipe

Traditionally, sauerkraut soup is made using sauerkraut pieces and bacon in order to create a filling and very flavorful dish, that can be enjoyed by the entire family. Any German would agree that no bowl of sauerkraut soup can be served without a piece of fresh bread!

sauerkraut soup how to make it

The idea of inserting some pickles into a soup might sound weird at first, but I assure you that the results are absolutely mesmerizing and once you try it, you will become addicted and you will understand why German people love it so much!

Sauerkraut soup was initially made and served by farmers, as it is a very simple recipe that only requires basic ingredients with a very filling result. Over time it has become so popular that any traditional German cooking book contains at least one variation of Sauerkraut soup!

sauerkraut soup recipe

This amazing soup is loved by kids and adults alike and it is a staple in German cuisine. And it’s no wonder why – this soup is simple, quick and it stays delicious for many days in a row. You don’t even need a celebration such as New Year’s Eve in order to serve it, it’s perfect for any day and any time!

I totally recommend this soup for autumn or winter, when you just need a big bowl of soup to make you feel better and warm you from the inside. As sauerkraut is usually a winter-specific ingredient, rich in Vitamin C and very useful to prevent a cold or flu, German people naturally indulge in this soup during the cold days.

vegan german sauerkraut soup recipe

For this vegan Sauerkraut soup, I used pieces of smoked tofu in order to mimic the flavor and texture of bacon. The result is a very filling and finger-licking good soup that can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner. The taste is extremely similar to the authentic recipe and I’m sure you will love it too!

vegan sauerkraut soup recipe

Yield: 6 +

Sauerkraut Soup

sauerkraut soup recipe ciorba de varza

Sauerkraut soup is staple soup recipe in the German cuisine, but it also also loved worldwide. Here's how to make a delicious and healthy sauerkraut soup.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 3 celery sticks, finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 4 small carrots, thinly sliced
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped in small cubes
  • 180g (2 cups) mushrooms, sliced
  • 280g (2 cups) sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
  • 2L (8 cups) vegetable broth
  • 500ml (2 cups) water
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 250g (1 cup) tofu, smoked, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once it's heated, add the sliced tofu.
  2. Cook until golden and crispy on both sides. Put it in a bowl and set aside.
  3. In the same pot, sautee the finely chopped celery and onion until the onion is translucent.
  4. Add the mushrooms, sautee for 2 more minutes and add a few tablespoons of the veggie broth.
  5. Continue cooking. Add carrots, potatoes, the bay leaf, broth and water. Bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  7. Add the sauerkraut and cook for 5 more minutes.
  8. Remove the bay leaf and transfer about 1 cup of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth.
  9. Pour back into the pot, add the apple cider vinegar and stir well.
  10. Add tofu slices and serve with some fresh dill on top.

Nutrition Information



Amount Per Serving Calories 251Total Fat 9.2gCarbohydrates 28.4gProtein 13.6g

Did you make this recipe?

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Saturday 5th of January 2019

This soup has healing powers! One of the best soups I have ever tasted! Thank you so much for posting this, Ruxandra! I made it without tofu, and just added smoked paprika in the sauteed onions, to give it that smokey taste. Divine!

Ruxandra Micu

Tuesday 22nd of January 2019

Thank you, Alina! So happy to hear you liked it! :D


Saturday 3rd of November 2018

Very tasty soup, thank you so much for sharing the recipe! Great use for sour kraut, and smoked tofu goes so well with it!

Ruxandra Micu

Monday 5th of November 2018

Hi, Elina! Glad you liked it! You should try my beans stew with smoked tofu too. It has a similar flavor. :D


Tuesday 30th of October 2018

Very tasty! I'm not a fan of tofu though, so I substituted some mild Italian sausage and it actually worked well (in my opinion). Thanks for sharing!

Ruxandra Micu

Monday 5th of November 2018

Glad you liked it! :D


Friday 19th of October 2018

Can we make our own Sauerkraut at home - and Vegetable Broth or do I buy them at a grocery store?

Very interesting!

Ruxandra Micu

Monday 22nd of October 2018

Sure! You can use homemade pickled cabbage for this recipe. As well as for the broth, you can use homemade or simply use water.

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