Thursday, November 19, 2015

Cooking with beer: Eastern European Sauerkraut, Bean and Mushroom Soup.

Eastern European Sauerkraut, Bean and Mushroom Soup

4 – 6 “medium” servings

I’ve adapted this Polish/Slavic/Hungarian amalgam for a cold day from The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors: Recipes You Should Have Gotten from Your Grandmother, by the late Jeff “Frugal Gourmet” Smith. It’s easy to make and requires only 20 or so minutes of prep time. I like it meatless, though carnivores might choose to accompany with Kielbasa.

Ingredient list

Olive oil or other cooking oil

2 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped
4 fat cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

24 ounces of beer … my preference for this recipe is Rauchbier, but Doppelbock works just fine and a malty Brown Ale would suffice in a pinch. The picture perfect choice is Schlenkerla Urbock, but save it to drink with the finished product. If you use Rauchbier, omit the smoked paprika – or not. Of course, feel free to get creative.

28 ounces vegetable broth

(Note: The object is to have a combination of beer and stock totaling around 50 ounces).

2 teaspoons Hungarian paprika (sweet)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (see beer note above)
¼ teaspoon Hungarian paprika (hot)
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

32 ounce bag sauerkraut from the refrigerator aisle, rinsed
8 oz mushrooms from the produce aisle, rinsed
2 cans (circa 16 oz) navy beans, rinsed; add a third can if you’re a bean lover


Sauté the chopped garlic and onions in oil on medium heat until tender, about five minutes.

Add beer, veggie broth, sauerkraut, paprika, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the temperature and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.

After an hour, add the beans and mushrooms. Bring to a boil, then lower the temperature and simmer for another hour, stirring occasionally.

To serve

Serve in bowls with a dollop of sour cream. We accompany the soup with bread and butter: Jewish Rye (light rye with caraway seeds) or Pumpernickel (dark rye, no seeds) are preferred.

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