While adjusting to life together at home as a new duo with my first-born, Ms. Sweet Potato, I watched a lot of Food Network shows. Being a first-time mom, I was adjusting to the major life transition and in many ways probably felt like I needed some major mothering myself. The women in the shows that I watched – Ina Garten, Paula Dean, etc. – felt like a motherly figures to me personally somehow. It’s as if the love that they had preparing food and preparing it for those that they loved transcended time and space and shot straight into my living room. I think I started to fall in love with food then and falling in love with taking care of others through it.
In all of those shows, one relatively common theme that I loved was deconstructing a recipe and rebuilding it anew. (For some reason Giada DeLaurentis’s strawberry shortcake is coming to mind right now.) The recipe that I’m sharing with you today, is just that. It’s an italian sausage sandwich deconstructed into a sauerkraut soup.
One of the major differences you’ll find in my recipe over other sauerkraut soups, is the preservation of the gut-nourishing probiotic bugs that are found in abundance in good-quality sauerkraut. (See the “Ingredient Notes” below as to what exactly good quality means in my opinion.)
If you’ve been around Organically Mandy, you know that I’m passionate, very passionate, about promoting gut-nourishing, probiotic-rich foods. And sauerkraut is one of those powerhouse foods.
In order to preserve those beneficial bugs, you’ll want to keep the sauerkraut away from considerable amounts of heat. Thus, in this recipe, the sauerkraut goes on top of the soup just before you serve it.
I hope you enjoy!
SAUERKRAUT SOUP INGREDIENT NOTES:
- Bell Peppers – Bell Peppers are on “Dirty Dozen” – the list of produce farmed with the highest amounts of pesticides. Opt for organic, but if you can’t, washing your produce with a mixture of 2 cups water with 1 teaspoon of baking soda is surprisingly effective at removing pesticides according to Dr. Mercola’s article.
- Chicken Stock – Homemade chicken stock is far superior to the store-bought stuff nutritionally and taste wise. If you’ve never tried it, take the plunge and give it a go!
- Garlic – Thanks to Jo Robinson, the author of Eating on the Wild Side, I learned that to preserve the nutrients of the garlic from the effects of heat, you’ll want to mince, chop, slice, etc. your garlic and then wait 10 minutes until you add it to any heat. Allicin is the super anti-cancer, anti-hypertension, anti-bacterial compound that is created when you chop, mince, slice, etc. the garlic. It needs time to be created and to be able to take the heat.
- Pork – Buying pasture-raised pork is better for you and better for the animal (higher quality of life). To mitigate costs of the higher price tag, my family buys less meat overall.
- Sauerkraut – What makes sauerkraut a “good quality” one? You can make it yourself, but if you prefer to buy it, make sure you’re choosing a product sold in the refrigerated section. Any sauerkraut sold in the center aisles has been pasteurized to keep it shelf stable. The pasteurization process kills off all of those wonderful bugs.
Sausage and Sauerkraut Soup
- 2 tbsp butter ghee or coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 medium carrot peeled and diced
- 1 lb mild or hot pork italian sausage casings removed
- 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 1/4 tsp sea or himalyan salt
- 4 cups chicken broth homemade or low-sodium store-bought
- 2 leaves kale destemmed finely chopped
- 1 cup sauerkraut
- fresh parsley for garnish
- avocado optional but makes a great topping
- Take the sauerkraut out of the refrigerator and place it on the counter allowing it to warm to room temperature while you are preparing the soup.
- Mince the garlic and let it to rest for at least 10 minutes to retain nutrients once it hits the heat.
- In a medium to large pot or dutch oven, warm the butter or oil on low/medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for about 7 minutes or until onions are translucent.
- Add the carrot and continue to saute for another 5 minutes.
- Add the pork, thyme and salt. Brown the pork, stirring often and breaking up the pieces for about 10-15 minutes or until there are no more pink spots.
- Pour in stock and bring to a very light simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes allowing the flavors to meld. When there is about a minute left, add the kale. (If you would like more broth in your soup, add that now.)
- Spoon the soup into bowls and top each with a generous amount of sauerkraut (about 1/4 - 1/3 cup), optionally some avocado, and sprinkle with fresh parsley.