Our friend Darren F. passed along this sauerkraut recipe of his mother’s, as well as the idea to make soup with it. I made a batch to quickly discover that this makes a TON of kraut! What to do with it? The soup was super easy to make (and very good), and then the rest was used in a classic sauerkraut/sausage dish (easily vegetarian-friendly or for carnivores).
1/2 stick of butter
3-4 boullon cubes (get the MGS-free variety if you can)
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
1/8 tsp cumin
1 to 2 tsp caraway seed (more or less, to taste)
salt & pepper, if you think it needs it (totally to taste)
Saute the above for about 20 minutes, or until the onions turn golden.
Next, combine the onion mixture with the following in a slow cooker:
(2) 32 oz cans/jars Polish Sauerkraut (rinsed well under cold water)
2-4 carrots, shredded
1-2 potatoes, shredded
1/2 fresh cabbage, sliced or 1/2 bag of ready-to-go shredded cabbage
Cook on high for 3-5 hours, it will make its own juice as it cooks.
When it is done cooking (keep tasting it, it's done whenever you like it) mix it up well so that the juices get evenly distributed. At this point, the sauerkraut is done and ready to use as you'd like!
Bring some veggie or beef stock to a simmer and mix in sauerkraut--the more you add, the thicker the soup. Heat through, and serve. I really liked this poured over a little brown rice, with a splash of soy sauce (I know... the soy sauce thing seems weird, but I swear it's heavenly).
Sauerkraut & Sausages (pictured above)
In a slow cooker, combine whatever sauerkraut you have left (which is probably a lot) with 12 oz of sliced kielbasa sausages. You could use a vegetarian kielbasa, or the traditional pork kind. Cook on low for 3-5 hours*, to heat through and allow flavors to blend. The cooking could also be achieved in a 13x9 pan in a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes*, or whenever it seems ready.
*The cook times are appropriate for pre-cooked sausage. If you are using a raw sausage, check for doneness and cook longer as necessary.