Stone Soup - 2 Versions

by Kimberley ThompsonTastemaker in Residence

The following soup is a German/Polish rendition of "Stone Soup." In reality, this soup was eaten often in the lean, hungry months before spring arrived. It supplied fresh bounty when larders were near empty and cooks put everything together in one pot.

I have included the original recipe and my brother's expanded version; which, despite having the "oooo-ick" factor of sauerkraut...remains the most requested soup recipe in our family.

Ingredients - The Original

1/2 quart rinsed and drained sauerkraut
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2 quarts water
2 Tbsp butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbsp flour
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain sauerkraut.  
  2. Wash mushrooms
  3. Cover sauerkraut and mushrooms with the water and cook on low heat until tender.
  4. In a separate pan, fry onion in 1 Tbsp butter until golden. Add onions to the soup.
  5. Brown flour in remaining 1 Tbsp of butter until nut brown. Temper by pouring 3 Tbsp of hot soup until browned flour, mix and add to soup.
  6. Bring to boiling and serve.

Today's Version of Sauerkraut Soup

This soup requires a bit more speciality shopping and prep; but absolutely worth the effort. I actually go to  Polish market to get my meat, sauerkraut and mushrooms; but any good grocery store should suffice.

Ingredients

1/2 quart freshly made sauerkraut, rinsed well and drained
3 oz. dried assorted woodland mushrooms
2 quarts of beef or vegetable broth
4 Tbsp butter
1 large onion chopped
4 smoked polish sausages, cut into slices
3 Tbsp flour

Instructions

  1. The following are pre-steps to starting the soup. (I find it easier to get these underway before starting the soup.)
    1. Put dried mushrooms into a small bowl and cover with very hot water. Leave sit for 15 minutes until softened.
  2. Fry onions and sliced sausages in 1 Tbsp of butter until onions are caramel colored and sausages have released some of their fat. Pat off as much grease as possible using a paper towel.
  3. Take rinsed sauerkraut and mushrooms (still in liquid) and put in large stock pot. Cover with broth and simmer about 20 minutes.
  4. Add cooked onion and sausages to soup.
  5. In the frying pan used for onions, brown the flour in the 3 remaining Tbsp of butter until nut brown. Pour in 1/4 cup hot soup into pan to deglaze and mix. Add to soup.
  6. Bring to boil and serve.

Cooks Notes

A hearty dark or black rye bread is perfect for this soup.