Sauerkraut Soup

This recipe has a secret ingredient you likely have never used before: juniper berry. Junipers are a common spice used throughout Scandinavia all the way down to Hungary. Junipers are currently being studied for their wide array of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Some research has even suggested that juniper may help raise HDL, the good cholesterol, and may assist in better regulating blood sugar. A word of warning though: not every juniper is safe for consumption, so please buy your junipers rather than collecting ones you may have in your yard. 


  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, finely sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 medium parsnip, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 6-8 juniper berries
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 lb sauerkraut, drained
  • 3 yellow/gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven and sauté the onion for 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Add the leek, carrot and parsnip and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes until the veggies soften. Stir in the garlic, caraway seeds, marjoram, allspice, juniper berries and bay leaves and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sauerkraut and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes. Next, add a ladle of veggie stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and the rest of the stock and simmer on a low heat for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Season to taste and serve with rye bread or your favorite crusty bread. Makes six servings.

Nutrition facts: 
Serving size: 1.5 cups 
Calories: 108; Fat: 5g ; Carbohydrates: 16.6; Fiber: 3.2g; Protein: 1.6g; Sodium: 356.4mg

Recipe adapted from: Polish Sauerkraut Soup (Kapusniak) – Skinny Spatula 

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