Traditional Czech Cabbage Soup
Trust me, you don't realize how much you love and miss the food you grew up with until you start living abroad. Living in Czech republic, I was only rarely cooking Czech food, I would usually go for other cuisines because, after all, Czech food was so easily accessible in any restaurant and during family visits! But moving to Canada, I suddenly started craving Czech food and I am making so much more of it. Going vegan, I was a bit shy on Czech food as it is heavily based on animal products. But as I said before - you can veganize literally anything! And so I made this wonderful soup that will warm your heart and soul.
The sauerkraut cabbage soup was one of the go to meals in the poor regions of Czechia. There are other versions of it in other Slavic countries but also just within our country, each region has its little twist. Usually, it would be thickened up with bread crumbs or grated cooked potatoes so it would fuel people for the hard work on the field that they had ahead of them. If times were "better" or it was in a richer region, it would also contain sausages - and of course, back in times, there were no vegan sausages. We are lucky though! We do have so many options and I went for the vegan Beyond meat sausages for this dish!
You will need:
1 jar of sauerkraut (1l)
1l vegetable broth (step by step to the broth in my Phở recipe)
20 small tiny potatoes halved, cooked separately
1 bigger onion, diced
2 Beyond meat sausages
100 ml plant-based cream
2 tbsp all purpose flour
50g plant-based butter
1/2 tsp grounded cumin
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp smoked paprika
The word “sauerkraut” is from German Sauerkraut which literally means “sour cabbage.” From sauer “sour” + kraut “vegetable, cabbage.” - thanks Google!
Cook your potatoes in salted water separately. Cut the sausage into small round pieces and fry them medium heat (pan with olive oil) and set them apart to put later in the soup.
Put your pot on medium heat and melt the plant-based butter. Add your onions. You don't want them to go brown or golden, we are aiming for soft and transparent onions here. Once they are all transparent, powder them with cumin and both paprikas and stir for a minute. Add flower and stir for 2 more minutes (we are making roux that will thicken up the soup later). Add the cold vegetable broth in smaller parts, stir with the roux and once all in, bring it to boil. It is really important to have the temperature difference, otherwise you can end up with chunks of flour in your soup. Once boiling, add the sauerkraut squeezed of most of its juice (keep the juice separately for later in case you need to give more of that sour taste to the soup) and cook for about 20 minutes then incorporate the cream in. In the end, add your potatoes and Beyond meat sausage and season to taste. As mentioned, if you like the soup to be a bit more sour, you can add a bit more of that juice. Serve with a blog of plant based sour cream or yoghurt and a slice of bread (sourdough bread recipe coming soon!!)