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.
ALSATIAN SAUERKRAUT SOUP
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.
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