PERKS Recipe Winner: Sauerkraut-Mushroom Soup

What’s better on a cold winter night than a hot cup of soup? Suzanne Z. from the Milwaukee area says this is a Slovak tradition in her family started by her Grandma in the early 1900s.

“The soup is to be eaten every Christmas eve … and we make it several times a year because it is so delicious.”

This makes a very large soup kettle full. Cut recipe in half for a smaller portion.

 Ingredients

  • 2-3 cups dried fresh mushrooms

2-4 weeks prior to making soup and open the container and pour out mushrooms without washing unto a cookie sheet to dry.

When dry and ready to add to soup, soak them for 15 minutes in cold water and rinse several times.  They will appear dark and black.)

  • Or 2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced;
  • Or 16 oz. can  (or traditionally purchase fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup margarine which is 8Tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups cold water (plus 4 quarts or more)
  • 2 large onion, chopped
  • 2  14.5oz. can sauerkraut(or 1 29oz can) slightly drained, but reserve juice and add to your liking
  • 4 quarts water or more   (½ gallon = 2 quarts   1 gallons + 4 quarts)
  • Add as much bouillon cubes or seasoning as you would like for flavor
  • Garlic to taste – 2 teaspoons
  • 1 tsp Salt and  ½ tsp Pepper (add more according to individual taste)

Directions

Melt the margarine/butter in the large pot.  Add the flour slowly and stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, brown flour in margarine until golden in color by bringing it to a gentle boil.  Add the 2 cups of water slowly and bring to a boil.  Stir continuously to avoid lumps and bring to a boil.  If you get lumps, use the egg beater to smooth out.  Reduce heat a little, add onions and slowly add (do not add all at once)  the 4 quarts of water stirring and scraping bottom of pan to avoid sticking.  When mixture comes to boil, add sauerkraut, mushrooms, salt, pepper, garlic and as much bouillon cubes/seasoning as you would like for flavor(Mom puts in 4-6 cubes).

Simmer 45 minutes-covered with a little vent.   If more tartness is desired, add the sauerkraut juice.

Prepare and add homemade dumplings.

Halushky – Drop Dumplings

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2T bouillon/chicken stock to flavor
  • 3-4 cups flour

Directions

In mixing bowl, beat eggs and water together.  Add salt, bouillon and enough flour to make a thick oatmeal type of batter.

In large pan over medium/high heat, bring 2 quarts of water to boil.

Use an everyday teaspoon. Dip it in the boiling water that is in the pan on the stove.  Then scrape the side of the

bowl to obtain a small amount of batter(depends on what size dumpling you desire).  Dip the spoon with batter on it in the boiling water which will release the batter from the spoon.  If your spoon gets sticky, clean it and start over again by dipping in boiling water.  Don’t put in too many dumplings or they accumulate on the bottom and the water won’t boil. It is very important to keep the water boiling.

When the dumplings come to the top in a minute or two they are done(taste if dumpling is to your liking and adjust batter by adding more water, flour or bouillon.    Scoop out dumpling with slotted spoon and drain.

Add dumplings to the sauerkraut soup.

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