Choucroute Soup with Knoedels

By • January 29, 2013 • 33 Comments


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Author Notes: Choucroute, sauerkraut, sûrkrût, sour cabbage, kiseo kupus, kislaya kapusta… I love it in any language, in any dialect and any dish. It is traditionally served with pork or sausages, and accompanied with steamed potatoes or dumplings (knoedels). This soup is a tribute to all the wonderful choucroute dishes, or as my dad would say “a choucroute in a bowl”.QueenSashy

Food52 Review: WHO: QueenSashy is a scientist from New York City.
WHAT: An ode to classic choucroute dishes -- sauerkraut served with pork and potatoes -- re-imagined in soup form.
HOW: Simmer sausage, sauerkraut, and seasonings in broth, and cook your knoedels right in with them.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This soup has a pleasantly sour kick that we love -- plus, studded with sausage meatballs and dumplings, it's a bowl that's fun to dive into. These knoedels are a noble end to that box of cream of wheat languishing in your pantry.
A&M

Serves 4-6

For the Soup

  • 3/4 pounds sauerkraut
  • 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced into super thin ribs
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 8-9 cups beef broth
  • Olive or vegetable oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Knoedels

  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 ounces Cream of Wheat (or farina)
  • 2-3 cups beef broth (or water)
  • A pinch of salt
  1. Rinse the sauerkraut well. Drain and set aside.
  2. Remove the sausage meat from the casing. Form tiny meatballs (about 1/2 to 3/4 inches in radius).
  3. Cover the bottom of a large skillet in oil. Add the sausage balls and sauté until nicely browned. Remove the sausage balls from the skillet and discard the fat.
  4. Cover the bottom of a large soup pot with oil. Add the onions and sauté until soft, for about three to four minutes. Add the garlic and cumin seeds and sauté for another minute or two, until very fragrant.
  5. Add the sauerkraut to the pot, cover with the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, add the sausage meatballs, bay leaves and juniper berries, and simmer partially covered for about an hour. When the soup is done, season with pepper (and if needed, with salt. I often find that both sauerkraut and sausage are seasoned well enough that no more salt is needed, but eventually it is up to you).
  6. While the soup is simmering, prepare the knoedels. In a small pot bring the broth (or water) to a gentle simmer.
  7. Beat the egg whites until firm. Slowly add the cream of wheat and continue to beat until fully incorporated. Season lightly with salt.
  8. Spoon about ¾ tablespoon of mixture per knoedel into the broth. Make sure that the broth maintains at simmer, otherwise the knoedels will fall apart. (You may want to make the knoedles in batches without overcrowding the pot, as the knoedels will expand slightly.) After three to four minutes, gently turn the knoedles and continue to simmer for another three to four minutes. Remove the knoedels from the broth.
  9. Pour the sauerkraut soup into the individual plates. Add the knoedels and then gently pour some more liquid from the soup. Serve immediately.

Comments (33) Questions (0)

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8 months ago Susan

Grizgaluska:-)

Moi_1

8 months ago QueenSashy

:)

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about 1 year ago Deborrah Bédard

Is the cream of wheat cooked or uncooked when you fold it into egg whites? I'm new at this.

Moi_1

about 1 year ago QueenSashy

Uncooked. Don't worry, it's very simple. Cheers!

Damian

about 1 year ago Dford

My Great Grandmother from Austria/Hungary would add knoedels (she called it canadala) to her vegetable soup and it would soak up the layers of delicious flavors in the broth. With each ladle full, I would scoop out as many knoedels as I could without my Grandmother noticing. Eventually my "Grammy" caught on and would make me a separate bowl of these fluffy dumplings with butter and seasoning that I could add to my soup or eat separately. Congratulations and thanks for sharing this recipe. I can't wait to try it.

Moi_1

about 1 year ago QueenSashy

Ha ha ha - I used to do the same! Thanks so much for sharing the story.

Sausage2

about 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Congratulations on the wild card! This brings back wonderful memories of learning to make knoedels from a friend's grandma in Germany. It was so fun. And this soup looks wonderful! I love anything with sauerkraut.

Moi_1

about 1 year ago QueenSashy

Thanks a lot fiveandspice. These are precious memories. I learned to make knoedels from my mom and grandmothers when I was tiny. It was like magic, you drop a spoon of a sticky/gluey mass into the soup and suddenly they turn into little clouds. I think this is the origin of my fascination with knoedels :)

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about 1 year ago Kukla

Congratulations QS! I know how light and airy the cream of wheat and fluffy egg whites are making any dumplings; I even always add cream of wheat when making gnocchi.

Moi_1

about 1 year ago QueenSashy

Kukla, thank you for the comment and for the tip. Next time I make gnocchi I will definitely try it out.

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about 1 year ago Kendra A.

Sounds delicious! But the HOW section says "Simmer sausage, sauerkraut, and seasonings in broth, and cook your knoedels right in with them," while the directions tell you to cook the knoedels separately in broth or water and then add them to the individual servings.

Moi_1

about 1 year ago QueenSashy

I usually reserve some broth (water works fine too) and make the knoedels separately. I have not tried making them in the soup, but do not see a reason not to, as long as the soup is at simmer, and you do not mind a thing or two floating around. (It obviously works, as the knoedels on the photo look lovely.)

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about 1 year ago Kendra A.

Thanks for clarifying that! I look forward to trying the recipe soon.

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about 1 year ago vrunka

wow, that really looks like delicious. A very well-deserved win!

Moi_1

about 1 year ago QueenSashy

Thank you!

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about 1 year ago lapadia

Dumplings? Yes please, congrats on the WC!

Moi_1

about 1 year ago QueenSashy

Thanks a bunch lapadia!

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about 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Congratulations! Love the dumplings!

Moi_1

about 1 year ago QueenSashy

I love them too, actually I love them the best in a good old chicken soup. Thanks a lot!

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about 1 year ago foxeslovelemons

This looks filling, unique, and wonderful. Congrats ont he wildcard!

Moi_1

about 1 year ago QueenSashy

Thank you!

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about 1 year ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Wow. Love it! All of my favorite winter foods, in one bowl. Love the bay + cumin + juniper berries. Must try. ;o)

Moi_1

about 1 year ago QueenSashy

Thanks a lot AJ! Sometimes when I am short on supplies, I skip the cumin or berries, but the bay is a must.

Dscn2212

about 1 year ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Congratulations to you. This looks fantastic!

Moi_1

about 1 year ago QueenSashy

Thank you!

3-bizcard

about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Wow, congratulations QS, what a wonderful recipe and I love the cream of what in the knoedels. This sounds delicous!

Moi_1

about 1 year ago QueenSashy

Thank you sdebrango! Cream of wheat is my fave for the knoedels too, and btw they work great with all kinds of soups.

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about 1 year ago localappetite

I bet my grandpa would love this dish...he still talks about the "kneidelach" his mother made for soup, but these sound like they'd be so light and delicious.

Moi_1

about 1 year ago QueenSashy

Who knows, maybe these end up being your grandfather’s "kneidelach". They were a staple in my grandmother’s soup, and that’s how I learned how to make them. Sadly, they are almost forgotten today. If you end up making some for your grandfather, please let me know if he liked them.

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about 1 year ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I have never heard of knoedles but they sound terrific and I am 100% sure I would love this soup!

Moi_1

about 1 year ago QueenSashy

Knoedel are very German and central European thing... Actually, the proper spelling is Knödel. Sometimes they resemble dumplings, but often they are very different. They are typically made with bread or potatoes, but the ones made with egg whites and farina are my favorite - they are like little snowflakes in a soup! Definitely try them in a chicken soup -- it's wonderful!

Dscn3274

about 1 year ago inpatskitchen

I love this!

Moi_1

about 1 year ago QueenSashy

Thank you!