This recipe was first sent to us by a long-time customer who had taken one of our fermentation classes. Joe, as we’ll call him, sent it along under the heading of “Hangover Soup”. The first ingredient was 3 cups sauerkraut, and so it seemed to have a touch of virtue about it, an air of the Old World. Of good intentions, new starts, atonement for an excess of celebration. It seemed a shoe-in for a January journal, on the cusp of a new year.
Obviously, we had not read the recipe through carefully.
It took us a while, but we finally got around to making this recipe.
It is hangover food in the most delicious, bacon and sausage and sour-creamy sense, ballast against any storm that may beset you.
It is in no way a soup.
It is thicker than chili, rich and flavorful and unabashedly, insanely delicious. We’re calling it Hangover Dip. (Even after adding more than 2 cups of water or broth to it, it is still too thick to be called soup.)
This dip may be the secret weapon, the gateway food, that converts even a certified kraut-hater (not that there are many of those reading this blog) into a krautophile. The original recipe called for the kraut to be simmered for half an hour, but we did not find that a long cooking time changed the texture much, and so we shortened it and lowered the temperature, in order to protect more of the probiotic benefit of the kraut.
Just for the record, it’s okay with us if you want to eat this with a spoon and call it soup. We won’t tell anyone.
Makes about 8 cups.
Cook the bacon to perfection.
Drain the bacon on paper towels, and allow to cool.
Slice the bacon into 1” strips and set aside.
Cook the onion in the bacon fat.
Dice the sausage into bite-sized pieces, and brown it.
In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, heat the sauerkraut over low temperature.
Add the onion.
Add the minced garlic.
Whisk the paprika, and flour, if using, into the sour cream. (The flour acts as a thickener here, but the dish is pretty thick without it, so feel free to omit it if you are sensitive to gluten or, you know, watching your weight.) You’re making a kind of cheater’s roux, here.
Spoon out about a cup of the warm kraut mixture, and whisk it into the sour cream.
Add the sour cream mixture to the pot with the kraut, and mix well. Keep the heat low, so the cream does not curdle and boil.
Add the bacon and sausage, and mix well.
Taste and adjust the seasoning. We used a horseradish, carrot, and leek kraut here; the spice level was perfect. However, if desired, now is a good time to add black pepper, or chili flakes, or other spices.
Allow the soup, er, the dip, to warm through at low temperatures, and serve warm. We like it on a slab of sourdough. You know, because sometimes we like to dip bread into our soup.
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