Polish Sauerkraut Soup – Kapusniak

March 2, 2016 (Last Updated: March 24, 2017)

Comforting, energizing, and rich in flavor, this Sauerkraut Soup (Kapusniak) coming from Poland is sure to become your favorite. Just imagine – sauerkraut, Polish sausage, bacon, and veggies all in one bowl of this hearty soup!

Try this hearty, warming and energizing Polish Sauerkraut Soup with sausage and bacon! | cookingtheglobe.com

In this post, I wanted to introduce you to my local (Lithuanian) cuisine. I just thought of dishes my family has been making for decades, picked up the one I had the mood for yesterday and started looking for a recipe. It was a cold winter-like day (despite the first day of spring) so a hearty, comforting Sauerkraut Soup sounded like a genius idea. But what was my surprise when, after a little research, I found out that this dish is not Lithuanian, and never was, despite the popularity of the fermented cabbage in my country. Sauerkraut soup traces its origins to two countries: Poland and Ukraine. It must have spread to other Soviet Union countries and that’s how it ended up on my Lithuanian table. Well, thanks to Ukrainians and Poles then!

Try this hearty, warming and energizing Polish Sauerkraut Soup with sausage and bacon! | cookingtheglobe.com

However, I have decided to stick with the Polish version of this delicious sour soup called Kapusniak. You may ask, what’s the difference between them? I don’t know all the nitty gritty details, but the most important one – Poles add their favorite and beloved around the globe sausage (Kielbasa) into it. It tastes AMAZING. At least to me. Sauerkraut and kielbasa combo works not only in this soup but as a standalone dish too.

Try this hearty, warming and energizing Polish Sauerkraut Soup with sausage and bacon! | cookingtheglobe.com

Sausage is not the only meat product I am going to use in this soup. What? Did I hear somebody say bacon? You are absolutely right my dear friend. It’s not the first time I use bacon in the soup (try this Carne en su Jugo). Smoked bacon and smoked sausage will give this dish a rich smoky flavor. Yes, most probably, I won’t get the healthiest dish award for it. I am pretty sure. But it’s so GOOD! You have to believe me.

Try this hearty, warming and energizing Polish Sauerkraut Soup with sausage and bacon! | cookingtheglobe.com

This sauerkraut soup has a strong sour aroma and an intense, powerful flavor. It’s really warming and it’s guaranteed to energize you. By the way, it is believed that sauerkraut soup helps with the hangover. Keep that in mind when you get yourself into such a situation next time!

Try this hearty, warming and energizing Polish Sauerkraut Soup with sausage and bacon! | cookingtheglobe.com

Polish Sauerkraut Soup with Sausage - Kapusniak

This Polish soup packed with sauerkraut, sausage, bacon, and veggies is guaranteed to warm you up and energize you for the day!
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 470kcal
Author: CookingTheGlobe


  • 14 oz (400g) sauerkraut
  • 12 oz (350g) smoked Polish sausage, split lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 4 medium potatoes, cubed
  • 5 oz (150g) smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 quarts (liters) water, or chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  • In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil, add onions and cook until they soften. Add carrots and cook for few more minutes. Add potatoes and water or broth. Bring to a boil.
  • Add the bacon and sausage to the frying pan and cook until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and caraway seeds and cook for a few more minutes. Add sauerkraut and simmer for 5-10 minutes more.
  • When the potatoes are almost done, add the bacon, sausage and sauerkraut mixture into the soup pot. Add bay leaf, thyme and season with salt and pepper. Return to boil and simmer or another 20-30 minutes until the cabbage is soft. Enjoy!


Calories: 470kcal
Cuisine: Polish


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  • Reply Ilona @ Ilona's Passion March 3, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    That’s my Soup! I am from Poland:) Pinning!

    • Reply Igor March 3, 2016 at 7:18 pm

      Wow, it’s so cool to meet a Pole here. Thanks for the comment, Ilona! 🙂 By the way, your blog is awesome!

  • Reply Pennie September 30, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Do you drain the sauerkraut or use the juice, too? Sounds delicious.

    • Reply Igor November 25, 2016 at 9:40 pm

      I use the juice too. It would be a shame to lose so much flavor!

  • Reply Karen Dunn October 5, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    I am Polish and grew up with my mom’s Kapusta soup. It was made with pork butt, cabbage, tomatoes, rice, water and vinegar. It is truly a sauerkraut soup that we serve with rye bread. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • Reply Igor November 25, 2016 at 8:31 pm

      Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment, Karen! It’s always nice to hear from local people 😉

  • Reply Betty November 2, 2016 at 2:28 am

    I use my Polish grandma’s recipe and it’s almost the same. We rinse the sauerkraut before adding it in. We also fry the bacon until it is very well done and crumble it. We use the bacon fat to make a roux then add 1 can of tomato soup. No caraway seeds but do add fresh dill.
    She used to put pork ribs in but now we just use kielbasa. She came to this country when she was 16 years old alone to join her sister and died when she was 92. I’ve never stopped missing her! Her name was Cecilya Victoria Lech Jermak.

    • Reply Igor November 11, 2016 at 8:52 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Betty! It’s a huge honor to hear that my recipe is close to the one your grandmother, may she rest in peace, left. For all the recipes on this blog, we have to thank our grandparents. Without them we wouldn’t have ever known any of these beautiful dishes.

  • Reply Louise M November 12, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Great recipes. Going to try the Kolacky this Christmas5 stars

    • Reply Igor November 24, 2016 at 10:00 pm

      Thanks for the kind words, Louise! This sauerkraut soup is awesome, so are Kolacky 🙂

  • Reply Sam August 15, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    Yum bacon! Any excuse to combine soup and bacon, I love this recipe! I used my favorite sauerkraut from Cook’s Pantry, and some pepper seasoned bacon from the butcher. Definitely going to make this more often, thanks for sharing!5 stars

    • Reply Igor August 29, 2018 at 9:28 am

      Thanks for the comment, Sam! This soup is comfort food at it’s best!

  • Reply Trena Stephens March 18, 2020 at 12:52 am

    I used this recipe as a guide. Substituted Eckrich smoked sausage, leftover potatoes, veggie broth (has more developed flavor than chicken broth). Did not add caraway seed. (My least favorite herb/spice) Added a Bavarian spice blend instead. My sauerkraut loving father really liked it, my barely sauerkraut tolerating hubby ate a serving and would have another serving the next day. Thanks for a way to recycle leftovers in this trying time, as we self isolate near Houston Texas.4 stars

    • Reply Igor March 23, 2020 at 8:40 am

      Thanks for sharing your recipe modifications, Trena. I’m sure they will be useful to others. Blessings and health to your family – I hope we will soon be able to put this unpleasant situation behind us.

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