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Cabbage Soup Lithuanian Style


  • 1 lb sauerkraut

  • 5 cups chicken stock, low-sodium recommended

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 1⁄2 lbs smoked ham hocks

  • 5 peppercorns

  • 2 whole bay leaves

  • 2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1⁄2 medium head of cabbage, shredded

Total Time: 3hr 20 min Prep: 20 min Cook: 3hr
Yield: 8 Level: easy


  1. In a large pot, place the sauerkraut, chicken stock, smoked meat, peppercorns and bay leaves. Add water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce temperature, cover and simmer for 1 to 2 hours. Meat should be tender.
  2. Remove meat, discard bones, dice and return to the pot. Add the shredded cabbage, tomatoes and onion. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook another hour or so.
  3. Add water, as necessary, to keep it soupy.
  4. To serve, remove the bay leaves and dish up, with hot boiled potatoes on the side.
  5. Note: If you prefer, substitute 1 cup shredded carrots for the tomatoes. Smoked turkey is a good substitute for the ham hocks. And there is nothing wrong with a nice hambone!
  6. Note2: You can drain and rinse the sauerkraut for a milder dish, but I think this is pretty mild, because of all the liquid and the fresh cabbage.
  7. Note3: You can reduce the amount of chicken stock if you need to – the meat will add a lot of substance to the liquid. I also have used the strained liquid left over after cooking a corned beef in the crock.