Saturday, December 17, 2011

It's Soup Weather

We've eaten a bowl of this soup I'm writing about today every day for four days straight. Fortunately, it's good. (Wonder when I'm going to get the urge again to cook some meals that are a little more creative?)

This is another recipe that I must have brought from the Old Country a hundred or so years ago and then carried west with me in a covered wagon, because it's been in my recipe box about that long.

I used to make it in the restaurant because it's such a different, tasty soup, but it had a rocky start there. The name is Alsatian Sauerkraut Soup. At first, we didn't sell much of it. A wise waitress told me one day it was the name that was the problem. Huh? She said the "sauerkraut" in the name was what turned people off. Why didn't we rename it Alsatian Noodle Soup?

Ya know what? That did it. We sold much more from then on. Of course, the soup still had the sauerkraut in it, but people really liked it once we got them to try it. They just had to get over the hurdle of thinking they were going to be served a bowl of warm sauerkraut in broth. Aren't we humans funny?

So here we go. I'm going to label it as it is on my original recipe card. I know you can handle it.


1 medium chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups sauerkraut, drained
2 cups tomato juice
6 cups beef broth
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoon sugar
1-1/2 cup uncooked rotelle
Salt (depending on the saltiness of your beef broth)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Saute the onion and celery in the oil until tender. ( I confess I never measure the celery and probably toss in more than 1/4 cup.)

Add the sauerkraut and saute for about 5 minutes.

Add all the remaining ingredients except the rotelle. (Not having any tomato juice, I put two cups of stewed tomatoes in the blender, gave it a whizz and that worked fine.)

Bring ingredients to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

Add the rotelle and cook, uncovered, until the rotelle is tender, about 20-30 minutes. (I didn't have any rotelle other than the veggie rotelle which is colored . . . you know, beets, carrots, etc. . . . but that didn't really matter.)

Remove the bay leaf and serve. Serves 8-10. Enjoy!

P.S. and Arrrgh! Let me tell ya, yesterday was not a day I should have attempted doing ANYTHING that required the least little bit of brain power. (Hey! I coulda napped all day. What an opportunity missed!) The comment on this post I received this morning from judy reminded me of what I should have added about this soup.

It is, indeed, a vegetarian recipe I used when we as a family were following a vegetarian diet (just use a beef broth substitute). However, it is very good with pork or beef added when you add the rotelle which, I also failed to mention, can be any pasta of your choice such as macaroni, tortellini, egg noodles, etc. (See? Told ya I was operating at a very low intelligence level yesterday.) Papa Pea happens to be on a kick where he is CRAVING protein so I added some chunks of cooked pot roast I had in the freezer. Leftovers from a pork roast are always yummy combined with the sauerkraut. Or brown some ground beef and add that. So although it's a delicious vegetarian soup, it doesn't have to be if your family balks at not having meat included in a meal.

That's all. Over and out.


judy said...

no meat? sounds like my kind of recipe-I love sauerkraut.I think I have everything in the pantry to make this today---oh and by the way ,now I'll have to remove baked goods off of deck,for at least a day,its gonna be 44 today,I might as well just thaw everything out---not!

Karen L. said...

Soup always sounds good in cold weather, doesn't it? I made Helupkies (Golompkies or whatever you call stuffed cabbage leaves) for a covered dish last week and this soup sounds like its cousin. And I also am struggling to figure out what to make for dinner. Must be from being "so old" and making so many meals over the years.

Anonymous said...

That looks like a wonderful soup recipe and one that can be made very versatile. I hope to be ordering a crock like Jane's over at Hard Work Homestead to try my hand at making sauerkraut with the cabbages mature.

Akannie said...

Yummm...this soup sounds yummy and I'm always looking for new kraut recipes. I found a cake (!?!?!**) recipe that scares me, but I might try it too. LOL I have a good supply of sauerkraut...thanks!

So sorry to read of the tragedy in your little town...desperate times I guess...there's craziness everywhere, it seems.

Dmarie said...

hmnn...certainly sound intriguing. and as I've never met a soup I didn't like, I'd be game to try it!!

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Hmmm.... I'm sure my husband would like this, but I'm not sure I could get over the hurdle of just *knowing* the sauerkraut was in it! LOL

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

Um, no finished soup pic??? I will assume that is was THAT good that you could not get the camera before each bit was consumed. What a great endorsement.

Mama Pea said...

judy - Thanks for reminding me of what I left off the recipe post. Go back and read the P.S. if you wish.

Karen L. - Yes, this soup does remind me of the Stuffed Cabbage Rolls my mom used to make . . . but is a lot easier! When you're the only cook in the house, every now and then I do suffer the blahs as far as coming up with interesting dishes.

emilysincerely - I didn't have a garden this past year so no homemade kraut but it's something I'm looking forward to next year. I have a crock just like Jane's and it's great!

Akannie - I've seen that cake recipe, too, but never tried it. You go first.

Thanks for the kind words. Our community is strong and we will heal from this. Our friend who was the most seriously injured is already starting to mend.

Dmarie - You and my hubby seem to feel the same about soup! Hope you like this if you get a chance to try it.

Jen - Oh, the sauerkraut is very evident in the soup although the taste of it doesn't jump out at you when combined with the tomato and pasta. Come on, give it a go!

Jane - Or it could just be the dummy who totally forgot to get a picture of it when served! Duh.

Sparkless said...

I've never had sauerkraut. It's supposed to be good for you so this sounds like a great way to incorporate it into a tasty meal. I've got this recipe copied and put in my "must try" file.

judy said...

thanks momma pea,and so that is what I'm suppose to do with left over pot roast i have in the freezer---lol and I saw a comment you made over at Jane's,"Hard Work Homestead" and wanted to let people know at least in our area that a another airing of the food documentary "Food Inc" will be airing on public television on 12-27-11-check your listings-tells the truth about where our current supply of food comes from,although you may not want to walk in a grocery store after you watch it,but I have to

Susan said...

And I just happen to have some leftover sauerkraut! Have you been reading my mind? Looking in my refrigerator??? Perfect timing!

2 Tramps said...

We just finished eating up a pot of creamy potato sauerkraut soup here. Something about this time of year has us craving hearty soups. Will try your recipe next time.

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - I was talking with someone else yesterday who had never tasted sauerkraut. That seems so strange to me. But then I am of hardy German stock! ;o]

judy - I love having leftover frozen cooked meat in the freezer. That's my kind of convenience food!

Susan - Always keep your refrigerator in good shape. You never know who may be looking inside it!! ;o]

2 Tramps - I've added lots of things to potato soup for variety, and now thanks to you, I have one more thing. I never thought of adding sauerkraut but that seems like a great compliment to the potatoes!

Erin said...

now I come from German stock too and even I thought "oh, no, really? Oh, Mama Pea...." when I saw the name of that soup LOL! The name change was definitely in order, but now that I've read about the soup it sounds very good! Admit it, this was a lesson on "judging a book by its cover" or some other parable teaching us to look beneath the surface.... LOL

Mama Pea said...

Erin - Aw come on, Girl! I still like the original name. I mean the alliteration is so cool . . . Al-SA-tion SAU-erkraut SO-up. That sound so much better than Alsation Noodle Soup. :o)