Lima Bean and Sauerkraut Soup

Lima Bean and Sauerkraut Soup

Lima Bean and Sauerkraut Soup

It isn’t the prettiest soup, but it sure is unique and flavorful and perfect for a cold weather meal. With plenty of sauerkraut left over from my Reuben Latkes, this Sauerkraut Soup was on the menu!

Sauerkraut soup, also known as kapuśniak in Polish, is a traditional Eastern European dish that features fermented cabbage as a key ingredient.

Kapuśniak typically contains a variety of vegetables such as carrots, onions, and potatoes. These vegetables add sweetness and depth to the soup. Instead of potatoes, this version features plump large lima beans. A good source of protein and fiber – large lima beans have a creamy texture, and a slightly sweet, buttery flavor.

Smoked sausage or kielbasa are often added to sauerkraut soup too, but this one is intentionally meatless. It’s a great comfort food, and many variations of the recipe exist, allowing for personal preferences and regional differences.

Dill is popular in Polish cuisine – bright and grassy, herbaceous and aromatic, fresh dill enhances the overall sensory experience of soup. And here, a generous dollop of sour cream balances out the sauerkraut. Homemade artisan bread with butter is the perfect accompaniment for dunking in the savory sour broth.

Lima Bean and Sauerkraut Soup

Lima Bean and Sauerkraut Soup Recipe

  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 celery rib, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 t. dried thyme
  • 1/2 t. caraway seeds
  • 1/8 t. ground allspice
  • 1 c. reserved bean water
  • 2 c. chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1 1/2 t. whole grain mustard
  • 2 c. cooked lima beans, bean water reserved
  • 12 oz. sauerkraut, well-drained (and rinsed if less sour flavor is preferred)
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add add carrot, celery, and onion, cooking until softened. Add garlic, thyme, caraway seeds, and allspice and cook a few more minutes, stirring frequently.

Add bean water, chicken stock, mustard, and sauerkraut. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer 15 minutes, then add the lima beans to heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

How to Cook Lima Beans
  • 8 oz. dried large white lima beans, rinsed and sorted
  • 1 medium carrot, rough chopped
  • 1 medium celery rib, rough chopped
  • 1/4 yellow onion, rough chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • a few glugs of olive oil
  • sea salt to finish

Place beans, carrot, celery, onion, and garlic in a pot. Add filtered water to cover by two inches. Add olive oil. Boil for 15 minutes then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until beans are tender. Add salt to taste near the end of cooking. Reserve the cooking water.

Lima Bean and Sauerkraut Soup

To Serve

Ladle hot soup into warm bowls. Top with fresh snipped dill and a generous dollop of sour cream. Serve with bread and butter.


Recipe inspired by Rancho Gordo.

Vintage China Patterns

Mayfair Bolero, Multi-colored Flowers, Brushed Gold Trim by WS George
Circa 1943
Peach Blossom Bolero, Pink Flowers on Branches
Stamped: WS George Half Century Fine Dinnerware 1904 – 1954

The W. S. George Pottery Company was a United States pottery manufacturer with facilities in Ohio and Pennsylvania. This collection belonged to my dear maternal grandmother.

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