Go Back
Czech sauerkraut soup recipe

Zelňačka – Czech Sauerkraut Soup

A Czech style nutritious and warming sauerkraut soup with klobása and potatoes.
Course Soup
Cuisine Czech
Keyword Sauerkraut Soup, Zelná polévka, Zelňačka
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4


  • 16 oz (450 g) sauerkraut rinsed
  • 3 brown potatoes medium
  • 7 oz (200 g) klobása Czech smoked sausage, or Polish kielbasa
  • ⅓ cup (45 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 5 cups (1.2 l) chicken broth or water
  • 3 onions
  • 2 Tbsp lard +1 Tbsp more to fry klobása
  • ½ tsp crushed caraway seeds
  • 1 Tbsp sweet paprika ground
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt
  • pepper ground


  • Peel onions and chop them roughly. Cut the sauerkraut so there are no large pieces.
  • Take a large pot with a thick bottom. Put the lard in it, heat it, add the onion and fry it until lightly golden.
  • Dust with sweet paprika, add the crushed caraway seeds and flour, fry for a minute while stirring it a lot. This way, you’ll prepare the roux, which thickens the soup.
  • Add in a little broth and mix, so the roux dissolves. Stir and add in the broth gradually. Stir it with a spoon or whisk it so that no lumps form.
  • Add the cut sauerkraut, bay leaves and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, peel potatoes, dice them and cook in a separate pot in the saltwater.
  • Dice the sausages and fry them in the lard in a separate pan.
  • Add the potatoes and sausages into the soup, take out the bay leaves and add sugar.
  • Mix, flavor with salt and pepper to your liking, serve.


You can garnish the soup with a scoop of sour cream, which will give the soup a smoother taste.