This hearty Russian winter soup, also called sour shchi, is deliciously tangy and filling. Made with potatoes, carrots, leeks, white beans and herbs, this recipe is perfect for those times when you need to use up the rest of the fresh produce. High quality fermented sauerkraut makes this soup extra healthy and full of both probiotics and probiotics.
I first heard about this soup when researching Russian recipes a little over a year ago, and ever since coming up with my own version I’ve been making it almost on a weekly basis. It has become my favorite way to enjoy sauerkraut and since this recipe is so veggie-packed it’s the perfect way to use up lots of leftover fresh produce.
Shchi is a traditional soup of Russia where it has been known as far back as the 9th century. While meat was sometimes added, this recipe was often made with beans instead as they were more accessible for the majority of people. When sauerkraut is added to the soup, it is known as sour shchi.
It is also flavored with herbs like thyme and dill as well as caraway seeds, which are commonly used in Russian cooking as well as in making rye bread. The caraway seeds are important in this recipe and can’t be subbed because they are what give this soup an authentic pickled flavor.
Since the sauerkraut is the main focus of the recipe, it's important that you chose a super delicious one. Typically, the best sauerkrauts are the fermented ones that come in a glass jar in the refrigerated section. My favorite lately has been the traditional fermented sauerkraut by the brand Bubbies.
This soup is so wonderfully tangy and satisfying. It's great on it's own or with a side of whole grain rye bread and a dollop of vegan sour cream. It's a fantastic recipe to cook any time of the year, and if you make a big batch it keeps really well in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
You may remember this recipe from when I posted it a little over a year ago, but I decided to post this updated version since refining the ingredients a bit more. I’ve also gone back and made a recipe video for this one since it’s one of my favorite recipes ever- I hope you enjoy it too!