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Kapusta (Sauerkraut soup)

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Kapusta (Cabbage Soup)

4 Smoked Ham Hocks
1/2# Bacon (diced)
2 medium Onions (diced)
2# head of Cabbage (shredded)
1 lg jar Sauerkraut (drained)

1 sm. can Tomato Sauce
12 Peppercorns
2t. Salt
3T. Flour
2 med. Bay Leaves

Put ham hocks, diced onions, bay leaves, salt, pepper in tall pot and cover with water (about 1 qt). Simmer for 2 hours. Dice and fry bacon till crisp. Remove bacon and reserve 1/4 cup bacon fat to brown flour. Add fried bacon, shredded cabbage, and sauerkraut to pot. Simmer for 1 hour. Add tomato sauce. Brown the flour in the reserved bacon fat then add to pot to slightly thicken the soup. Simmer an additional 20 minutes.

[NOTE: This dish was originally made with regular pork hocks. The smoked ones add another dimension of flavor. A good smoked kielbasa could also be used. Also, depending on how tangy you like your Kapusta, you may want to save some of the sauerkraut juice after draining the jar so you can add some back to the soup.]

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