Every time we visit Slovakia, there are certain foods that I just must eat. One of these foods is Slovak cabbage soup or kapustnica as it is called. Kapusta means cabbage. The other day I came across some Polish sauerkraut at a local grocery store and the thought hit me – why not make the soup at home. After a quick search on google I found a convenient recipe on this site.

The Story Behind Kapustnica

Before moving on to the recipe, let’s exchange some words about this delicious soup. Actually it comes in various forms depending on who makes it, the area, and the season. The ones I have tasted before have always come with a lot of sauerkraut, meat and sausage. The soup is usually prepared at the end of the year, around Christmas and New Year’s. The Christmas version comes without meat, instead it has such ingredients as cream, white plain halušky and potatoes. Many a Slovak have also told me that this dish is excellent for curing hangovers from hell!

Kapustnica: the Ingredients

I eventually ended up modifying the original recipe and using the following ingredients for my soup. For instance, I did not want to have so much meat in it. The result was a big pot of soup serving about 5 people.

Sauerkraut – 0,5 kg
Sausage – kabanos with garlic, 2 pieces (225 grams)
One large onion
Garlic – 3 cloves
Clove, nutmeg, bay leaf, black pepper, spicy paprika, ½ red pepper

How to Make the Kapustnica

1. Rinse the sauerkraut, then put it with a liter of water into a large pot.
2. Cut and mix onion and garlic cloves, add to the soup.
3. Add black pepper, cloves and nutmeg, 2 bay leaves and some of the paprika.
4. Add some more water and let it cook for about 15 minutes.
5. Cut the sausages into small pieces and add it to the soup.
6. Add red pepper and paprika
7. Simmer for about 30 minutes.

Enjoy! Sour cream is so tasty with this soup, unfortunately we didn’t have any at home. However, I will definitely get a jar and bring it with me to the office tomorrow. Who cares if the whole place will smell of cabbage – what matters is the delicious lunch!

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