When Tasha and I were last in the Dresden area, we seemed to encounter Soljanka whereever we dined. It didn't matter if it was a concession stand at a national park or a classy restaurant; everybody seemed to regard this as essential Saxon comfort food. Soljanka is a Russian soup that it seems like the East Germans adopted and adapted to their taste. It's kind of like a hot and sour eastern European soup when it's done right, but this recipe doesn't have much heat per se; I'd like to experiment on that, but for the moment it's great in this form.
I doubled and translated this recipe from here after trying another that had no sourness at all. The secret, I think, is just putting pickle juice in it. That kind of makes sense, and the effect of that acid cutting through the sausage is divine. Make sure you don't forget the dollop of sour cream when you serve -- for bonus points, a slice of lemon on top in addition to the cream looks wonderful. You can also squeeze some lemon juice in your serving if you wanna up the sourness, I usually do.
- 6 oz bacon, diced
- 2 onions, diced
- 7 oz jagdwurst or high quality bologna, cut into strips
- 7 oz smoked sausage, diced
- 2 red peppers, diced
- 2 carrots, sliced into normal-sized rounds
- 8 kosher or polish pickles, sliced into normal-sized rounds
- 4 oz tomato paste
- 3 oz pepper paste
- 2 cups pickle juice
- 2 quarts beef broth
- 7 oz sauerkraut
- 2 tbs capers
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- sour cream
- In a big pot, cook the sausage, bacon, and onions in some oil until they are lightly browned.
- Add the red peppers, carrots, and pickles and stir. Cook for a bit, then add the tomato and pepper paste and let it just start to carmelize while stirring.
- Add the pickle juice and the beef broth.
- Once it's back up to a simmer, add the sauerkraut, capers, garlic, bay leaf, pepper, and salt.
- Let it cook for 1-2 hours. Serve with a dollop of sour creme on top. Guten appetit!