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Expats Blog

Dining & Drinking

Winter Treat: Sauerkraut Soup with Sausage

Published on January 14th, 2016 in Dining & Drinking

  • Sauerkraut Soup with Sausage (photo courtesy of

  • Sauerkraut Soup with Sausage (photo courtesy of

  • Sauerkraut Soup with Sausage (photo courtesy of

This recipe originally appeared on the Taste of Prague food blog on January 7, 2012. See the full post here.


This sauerkraut soup has Eastern Europe written all over it. But for all the disagreeable clichés about Eastern Europe and its sauerkraut-based cuisine, “zelňačka” is a hell of a winter dish. Once you try this substantial, rich and quite filling soup, your doubts will melt away. This isn’t just a starter: it’s a whole meal by itself. The meaty version is more traditional; however, you can also make it vegetarian. The recipe below is our family gold and always got raves from everyone who tried it.



- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- small piece of bacon
- 2 pieces of sausage (different kinds for texture), sliced or diced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 3 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 4 balls of all spice
- 1 cup peeled and cubed potatoes
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 cups sauerkraut, drained, rinsed briefly and chopped roughly (save the juice)
- 8 prunes
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- chili
- salt, sugar, ground black pepper and sauerkraut juice to adjust the taste
- 1 cup sour cream



Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat and add the oil and bacon. Cook until the bacon is golden, 4 minutes.

Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 4 minutes. Add sausages and cook for 2 more minutes.

Remove from heat and add the paprika, caraway seeds, all spice and tomato paste, stir thoroughly and return to the stove and cook for 1 minute.

Add the potatoes, stock, water and thyme and cook until the potatoes are almost tender (if you put the sauerkraut in too early, the potatoes will not cook properly and will be crunchy), about 15 minutes.

Add the sauerkraut, garlic, chili, prunes and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

In separate cup mix 3 tablespoons of sour cream with 3 tablespoons of broth and add the mixture to the soup. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

The combination of sauerkraut juice, which gives the soup a great tang, sugar, salt and pepper creates a perfect sweet-sour flavor that I really think makes this soup shine.

Serve immediately, with a spoon of sour cream on top.