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Finnish Sauerkraut Soup


Okay, you won't like this soup if you don't like sauerkraut. But if you DO, I think you'll like it a lot--especially if you serve it as a main course with purakkaa on the side--that's oval-shaped pastries made out of rye flour and stuffed with mashed potatoes or rice, or cheese, or meat, or fish. Oh yes, and it's also nice to have sour rye bread on hand...and cheese...and cold cuts...and a big bowl of sour cream. Yum. Then it's off to the sauna and and a roll in the snow. Serve hot to 4 people.

Garnish: dollops of sour cream

Place the beef cubes and ham bone in a large sauce pan with the sauerkraut, stock, and allspice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 2 and 1/2 hours over medium-low heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove allspice berries and bay leaves.

When ready to serve, ladle into big bowls, top with a spoonful of thick sour cream, and take to the table with chunks of rye bread and a bowl of sour cream to pass around the table.