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German Sauerkraut Soup (Sauerkrautsuppe)

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Celebrating one of Germany’s most famous “superfoods”, Sauerkraut, this wonderful soup is satisfying to both tummy and soul.  The combination of tangy sauerkraut, caramelized onions, smoky paprika, savory bacon and earthy caraway is deliciously irresistible!

sauerkraut soup recipe german sauerkrautsuppe bacon paprika

Each year when Autumn arrives I automatically start to think about my favorite German Fall dishes like Zwiebelkuchen and flavorful soups and stews.  My thoughts also turn to sauerkraut.  Yes, sauerkraut.  Autumn is cabbage harvest time and it’s during the cold months that sauerkraut is traditionally made; the cooler weather allows for a long and slow fermentation process which yields a superior-tasting product.  And while I make sauerkraut throughout the year, I always make a big batch in the Fall.

If you’ve ever lived in Germany and spent a good deal of time eating out, you’ll know that sauerkraut is surprisingly versatile.  While it most certainly is eaten along with stereotypical foods like Wurst and Schweinehaxen, you’ll also find sauerkraut in things like casseroles, savory pastries, breads, meatballs, pasta, fritters, salads, quiche, sandwiches, pizzas, soups and stews.

Today I’m sharing a German Sauerkraut Soup with you that is similar to how my mom used to make it for us in Germany.  There are several variations of Sauerkrautsuppe and this “red” version utilizing paprika is a popular one and my personal favorite.

This soup always takes me back to Germany, to the homes I grew up in and the places I loved to visit.

german castle

One of my favorite German castles to visit in the Fall, and any time of the year, is Schloss Bürresheim.  It isn’t one of the more widely known or heavily touristed castles like those of King Ludwig.  It’s a lesser known gem but well worth the visit.  It’s in the northern part of the Eifel mountain range in the Rhineland-Palatinate region of Germany just outside the town of Mayen.

Built in the 12th century, it is one of only a few castles that was never conquered or devastated and has remained largely intact all these centuries.  It’s located out in the country, surrounded by a river and hiking trails.

Incidentally, if you’re an Indiana Jones fan, Schloss Bürresheim was one of the filming locations in The Last Crusade.  In the film it was called Castle Brunwald, where Indiana’s father is kept prisoner.

german castle

Let’s get back to the FOOD.

The combination of tangy sauerkraut, caramelized onions, smoky paprika, savory bacon and earthy caraway is simply irresistible!  Stir in some crème fraîche or sour cream, serve the soup hot with some crusty bread and a leafy green salad, and you’ll have yourself a truly satisfying meal!

sauerkraut soup recipe german sauerkrautsuppe bacon paprika

In Germany I would normally use something very flavorful like speck, pancetta or a heavily smoked bacon from the Black Forest, close to where I grew up, but regular bacon will do as a substitute.

For this soup I’m enlisting our favorite brand of broth, Aneto, made in Barcelona, Spain.  Aneto makes their 100% All-Natural Chicken Broth like we make it in our kitchen:  They select the freshest vegetables and chicken, put them in large pot, and let them slow-simmer for hours.  They don’t use any powders, extracts, concentrates, additives, flavor enhancers or anything else.  They only use real, whole ingredients.   We took a tour of their factory in Barcelona a few years ago and saw the entire process from start to finish.  It was incredibly inspiring.

Aneto’s broths and paella cooking bases can be found in store locations across the U.S..  You can also purchase their chicken broth and other broths here on Amazon.

aneto broth

So without further ado here is a wonderful soup celebrating one of Germany’s most famous “superfoods,” Sauerkraut!

German Sauerkraut Soup Recipe

Let’s get started!

In a soup pot, fry the bacon until done.  Add the onions and fry until lightly caramelized, 5-7 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

frying bacon and onions

Stir in the tomato paste and spices and cook another minute.

Pour in the chicken broth.

adding spices and broth

Stir in the drained sauerkraut and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.  Stir in the crème fraîche or sour cream and heat through (do not boil).

adding sauerkraut and sour cream

Serve hot with a dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream.

sauerkraut soup recipe german sauerkrautsuppe bacon paprika

Crusty bread and a leafy green salad make perfect accompaniments.


sauerkraut soup recipe german sauerkrautsuppe bacon paprika

For more delicious German recipes be sure to try our:  

German Sauerkraut Soup (Sauerkrautsuppe)

Celebrating one of Germany's most famous "superfoods", Sauerkraut, this wonderful soup is satisfying to both tummy and soul.  The combination of tangy sauerkraut, caramelized onions, smoky paprika, savory bacon and earthy caraway is simply irresistible!
5 from 73 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course, Soup, Starter
Cuisine German
Servings 6 servings
Calories 169 kcal



  • In a soup pot fry the bacon until done.  Add the onions and cook until lightly caramelized, 5-7 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook another minute.  Stir in the tomato paste and spices and cook another minute.  Add the chicken broth and sauerkraut and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.  Stir in the crème fraîche or sour cream and heat through (do not boil). 
  • Serve hot with a dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream.  Crusty bread and a leafy green salad make great accompaniments.


For a true authentic German flavor, be sure to use genuine imported German sauerkraut, it tastes different than most American brands and is generally milder in flavor.  Some American brands are not fermented in the traditional manner, include chemicals like sodium benzoate and sodium bisulfate (some even include vinegar), and they taste very different than the German variety.  Many well-stocked grocery stores carry real German sauerkraut in their international sections.


Calories: 169kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 7gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 1176mgPotassium: 469mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4g
Keyword Sauerkraut Soup
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
kimberly killebrew the daring gourmet

Hi, I’m Kimberly Killebrew and welcome to Daring Gourmet where you'll find delicious originals, revitalized classics, and simply downright good eats from around the world! Originally from Germany, later raised in England, world-traveled, and now living in the U.S., from my globally-influenced kitchen I invite you to tour the world through your taste buds!

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Recipe Rating

5 from 73 votes (39 ratings without comment)


  1. I found your website searching for a sauerkraut soup recipe. We did a river boat cruise down the Danube River last May and had a wonderful sauerkraut soup that we have been talking about ever since. Your recipe is so delicious. I found German sauerkraut at a local European specialty store. Definitely better than our sauerkraut here in the states. Thank you again for a truly wonderful recipe. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

    1. growing up, mom served her regular sauerkraut and a “red” sauerkraut dish ,,,thanks to you I finally have the “red” recipe that tastes as good as hers,,,thanx for the taste and mental hugs from the soup

  2. I cannot even begin to describe how amazing this soup is – I love it! I’ve been making t about 2x a month since the weather has cooled off here. So comforting and yummy on a cold night. But I am sure I will make it in the summer too!

  3. Thanks for the recipe but find but found measurements confusing. Would like to see measurements in metric as well as imperial

    1. Hi Colin, there are metric measurements – if you look to the right of the ingredients list you’ll see two buttons, one for “US Customary” and one for “Metric.” Just click on “Metric” and it will make those conversions for you. Happy cooking!

  4. I used the hand blender n leftover Sauer kraut from New years I used annis seeds since I had no caraway n cooked my onions with the saur kraut n added a fresh apple I wish I could take a pic an added smoked cheddar wurst deitz n Watson product was on sale. Still simmering n can’t wait 2 taste

  5. That sound so delicious. Also I was born and raised in Germany and left at a “tender” age of 43 ;) I never had Sauerkraut Soup. My Mutti made only Sauerkraut with Kassler but no other recipe with sauerkraut. I sure will try your soup and just from the ingredients to judge I will love it.
    Btw, for at least one hour I am telling myself “ok, one more recipe and than enough for today” but then it is one again and one again. You got a loyal fan here who used to live in Germany for 43 years, then moved to Florida and then to Nevada. I love your website, your recipes and the reviews, it’s like connecting not just with your recipes but also with memories and likewise people. May all of you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy and healthy 2021.

  6. Love this soup. I added some smoked sausage cut into thin half moons so that we could call it a full meal.:) I did find the recommended sauerkraut at a local store. I think it did make a difference.

  7. Made this today, it was absolutely marvelous. So thrilled to have such a great new staple. I would post adjustments or suggestions but I genuinely just don’t even have any.

  8. I just made this. This was delicious! This is the third recipe I have made from you and have loved all three. I’m on a mission to try one to three of your recipes per week. Honestly, the first one was the Sauerbraten. My local grocery store ran out of Knorr packages so I decided to learn to make it from scratch….I’ll never go back. Thank you!

  9. Great recipe I Totally love it!!! I did alter it a bit though: I made a big batch since my half gallon jar of sauerkraut happened to be ready today (I ferment at 65-73F for about 2 weeks…this batch was made from 4 lb cabbage with 3tb salt per 5 lb).So I used a whole pack of bacon, more stock and adjusted the rest.I was born and raised in mid-west Germany and our Sauerkrautsuppe always contains browned hamburg about 1/2 to 1 lb but no sugar (that’s more common in Westfalia) Btw: like all Sauerkraut dishes it tastes better the next day when it’s reheated;)

  10. Thank you for this soup recipe! I’m from the Netherlands, so being close neighbours with a.o. Germany I’m very familiar with Sauerkraut mit Wurst / Speck and the likes. My husband and I love Sauerkraut so much that he gave me a 10 liter Sauerkraut fermentation pot for my birthday. As soon as the white cabbages were available in my favorite organic shop, I bought 5 huge ones and worked them all up for a big batch home-made Kraut. It has been fermenting in my cellar for 10 weeks and I was totally ready to taste my first produce. It wasn’t as tangy as store-bought Sauerkraut, contained way less (Himalaya/pink)salt yet much more spices and herbs (don’t forget the juniper berries!). Today I chose your recipe because we’ve never had Sauerkraut soup before. I did swap the tomato paste and Szeged paprika (out of stock) for a few tablespoons sugarfree low sodium Turkish brand sweet paprika paste. The smell in my kitchen is so wonderful right now! My husband will have a piece of artisanal rye bread with it, and I will get the soup as is (prescription low carb diet). My dollop of sour cream / crème fraîche just might be ein bisschen bigger than the one he gets ;)

      1. Hello there!
        Your recipe looks very interesting. Do you think I could substituteGreek yogurt for crème fraîche, for an even lighter result? I live in Greece, so I can find neither crème fraîche nor sour cream. I’m also planning on substituting thinly sliced and diced leek sausage (traditional Greek sausage) for bacon…I think the leek would perfectly match the sauerkraut.

        Thank you in advance for your reply.

    1. Being polish appreciate the recipe.
      Modify as you like and still will come out tasty!!!
      I like to add ancho , chorizo and polish varieties of sausages and some potatoes cooks separately and added in final stage obvs🤪.

  11. Another winner!! Mein Mann say “It’s good.” We are a little older so we cut down on the sauerkraut and put in fresh cabbage instead (to reduce the salt). Thank you Kimberly.