Potato, White Bean & Sauerkraut Soup

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.

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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.

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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!

Mashed Potato & Sauerkraut Casserole [Vegan, Oil-Free]


This mashed potato & sauerkraut casserole is one of my favorite vegan comfort food recipes. With a juicy layer of quality sauerkraut on the bottom, a layer of fluffy vegan-cheezy garlic mashed potatoes in the middle, and crispy herbed breadcrumbs on top, this sauerkraut packs in all of the best flavors and textures into one package. 

When I think of casseroles, I expect something that's going to require a lot of preparation, but this casserole is so simple! Especially if you don't enjoy chopping lots of different ingredients, because all you have to chop in this recipe is potatoes- and that's it! Mashed potatoes are actually really easy to make from scratch. I recommend russet potatoes because they are the best for mashing, once they're peeled, chopped and steamed, I mash them with a creamy garlic sauce that I whip up in the blender while the potatoes are boiling. Then I place a layer of sauerkraut in the bottom of a baking dish, top it with the mashed potatoes and sprinkle herbed breadcrumbs over the top. 

I've had this idea for a potato and sauerkraut casserole for a few months now, ever since I made a potato and sauerkraut soup recipe and became completely obsessed with the combination. In the process of creating this recipe I've learned a lot about the nature of potatoes. My original version was a scalloped potato casserole, creamy au gratin style, with layers of tangy sauerkraut interlaced between thinly sliced potatoes. When I took it out of the oven, it looked beautiful, but unfortunately when I tried it the potatoes were rock hard and uncooked. I put it back in the oven and cooked it a while longer... and then even longer... but the potatoes refused to cook. I ended up looking online for why this might be happening and as it turns out, potatoes won't cook in acidic substances, such as the tangy sauerkraut that I love so much.

I felt a little defeated and decided to let the idea sit on the backburner for awhile. Eventually, while eating my favorite cheesy potato quesadilla recipe, inspiration struck again and I realized I can use a similar creamy mashed potato filling so that it's already cooked so it can't be disturbed by a layer of sauerkraut. So I tried it out with mashed potatoes and this time it actually worked! The recipe that I had been dreaming about for months was finally a hit and I've been making it over and over again ever since. 

Be sure to use a high quality sauerkraut such as my all time favorite brand, Bubbies. You can find the best sauerkrauts in the refrigerated section at your grocery store. Generally, the sauerkrauts that don't need to be refrigerated aren't as good as the ones that do require refrigeration.

This is a great recipe to make ahead of time or even in a larger portion because it keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days, though mine always tends to disappear very quickly. I hope you enjoy this recipe and that it becomes one of your favorites as well! 


I ended up using three medium-sized russet potatoes for this recipe, which made about 4 cups, but since potatoes sizes vary I'd recommend measuring out 4 cups of cubed peeled potatoes.


Place the potatoes in a pot and cover them with cold water until they're just submerged under the water. Place the pot over medium-high heat to bring to a boil. As soon as the potatoes start to come to a rolling boil, set a timer for 7 minutes and turn the heat down to medium. After the time has passed check to make sure the potato chunks are fork tender and then drain the water out of the pot and then return the potatoes to the same pot. 

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Make the creamy garlic sauce in the blender either while the potatoes are boiling or right after by combining all of the sauce ingredients in the blender until smooth. 


Add the creamy garlic sauce to your steamed potatoes in the pot along with some chopped chives and then mash until well combined. 


Assemble the casserole in your dish by starting with an even layer of sauerkraut, followed by a layer of mashed potatoes, and then quickly mix together your breadcrumbs and herbs and sprinkle them over the top. I've never had any issues with the sauerkraut sticking to the bottom of the baking pan, so I don't bother greasing the pan first. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove from oven, cool for 10 minutes, and then serve.