How to make Sauerkraut soup (Kapustnica)

Kapustnica, also known as cabbage soup, is a traditional Slovakian dish that is prepared especially during the Christmas and New Year’s season. This rich and comforting soup is the perfect dish for cold days, as it combines smoky, salty and spicy flavors in a delicious cabbage broth. Here is an easy and authentic recipe to prepare this wonderful soup in the comfort of your home.




  • 300 g smoked ham knuckles
  • 1 allspice berry
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 cup sauerkraut (approximately 400 g)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 100 g dried mushrooms
  • 1 large smoked sausage, Hungarian or Polish style
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • Natural  yogurt to the taste, sour cream.


Add the smoked ham hocks, 2 liters of water, bay leaf, pepper, allspice, caraway and 1 teaspoon of salt to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover with lid and simmer for 30 minutes.

2. Cut onions into thin slices. In a separate pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and sauté the onions until translucent, but not browned (about 5 minutes).

3. When the onions are soft, mix 2 teaspoons of paprika and stir into the onions. Remove from heat.

4. Add the sour cabbage (Chucut) to the pot, with a little of its juice, after the first 30 minutes of cooking.

5. Add the onions, mushrooms and garlic. Cover with the lid and simmer for another 30 minutes.

6. Remove the ham from the soup. Cut the meat off the bone (if there is any) and cut off any thick pieces of skin. Chop the meat into small pieces.

7. Add the ham back to the pot and simmer for another 20 minutes. If you have some red wine, add about 1/2 cup to give the soup even more flavor!

8. Slice the sausage and add it to the pot along with the vinegar, sugar and marjoram.

9. Cook for another 5-10 minutes. Add a little more vinegar, salt, pepper and/or sugar to adjust to taste. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt on top.


Kapustnica is a soup full of tradition and flavor that is sure to delight your guests and the whole family.

Enjoy this classic Slovak dish on cold days and celebrate the season with its warmth and delicious aroma!


Dobrú chuť! (Enjoy!)