Recipe: Sauerkraut and White Bean Soup

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Rancho Gordo Sauerkraut and White Bean Soup with our heirloom white Royal Corona beans

I’m obsessed with fermenting and one of the best things to ferment is cabbage, which of course becomes sauerkraut over time. You can do it yourself but there are lots of very good small artisan sauerkraut makers and even some good commercial brands. If you make your own, you may have somewhat of an abundance, like me.

This bounty led to this dish and even though most sauerkraut recipes seem to match kraut with fatty meats, my soup came out vegan. I served this to guests who were adamantly against sauerkraut as something to eat and they loved it. You can play with ratios of beans, kraut and stock but none of these should be the defining ingredient.

It’s not a bean soup or a sauerkraut soup. It’s its own thing and I can’t wait to make this again. There are many versions of this and if you aren’t using good heirloom beans, like our Royal Coronas, I would add some sausages or a ham hock. I’m not trying to be funny, but the flavor just won’t be there unless you use good heirloom beans. Similarly, if you don’t have homemade sauerkraut on hand, use a trusted brand.

Serves 4

  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery rib, diced 
  • 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and diced 
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thin 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 2 cups bean broth, vegetable broth, chicken broth or a combination of any of these
  • 2 cups cooked Rancho Gordo Royal Corona* beans 
  • 2 cups sauerkraut, drained well 
  • Salt (if needed) 
  • Pepper 

*You could easily substitute Alubia Blanca,  Mayocoba or even Large White Limas.

  1. In a soup or stock pot over medium heat, saute the vegetables in the olive oil until soft, about 10 or 15 minutes. Add the thyme and broth. Stir well.
  2. Gently add the beans and the sauerkraut. Stir until mixed and gently simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes. The soup should be very hot. Check for seasoning (the sauerkraut can be very salty) and ladle into soup bowls. Serve with crusty bread.