Vegan German Sauerkraut Soup with Chickpeas and Mushrooms (Sauerkrautsuppe)

by Kaitlynn Fenley

This winter I wanted to create a soup with a unique, bold flavor, different from any soup I’ve ever tried. So I develop this new recipe, inspired by elements of Ukrainian and German sauerkraut soup recipes. I also used beans and mushrooms in my recipe, for a unique plant-based twist. Enjoy topped with cashew cream and fresh green onions.

What is Sauerkraut Soup?

Sauerkraut soup is a hearty, umami soup packed with flavor and nourishing ingredients. It contains mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion, chickpeas, gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, and a broth base of sauerkraut and tomato. The flavor is enhanced with Hungarian smoked paprika and freshly ground caraway seeds.

This is a perfect healing soup for immune system health during cold and flu season, and it will leave you feeling healthy, warm, and nourished.

German Sauerkraut Soup

There are two main types of sauerkraut soup that I’ve read about. The first is Sauerkrautsuppe, a german soup made with pork and sauerkraut in a tomato-based broth. The second is Kapustnyak, a Ukrainian sauerkraut soup made with bacon and sauerkraut in a light meat-based broth. Both of these soups usually include potatoes and some sort of beans.

I was inspired by both of these soups and melded inspiration from both to create my soup recipe. I think since I used a tomato base, my soup is more german in flavor.

an empty glass jar of sauerkraut with a green Cultured Guru Sauerkraut label on the jar.

What Type of Sauerkraut You Should Use

The best sauerkraut to use is authentic sauerkraut, made with just cabbage, salt, and water then fermented for 4 weeks. I, of course, suggest using our Cultured Guru Sauerkraut.

Homemade sauerkraut works great as well! Make sure it’s been fermented long enough, though, for the flavor to be fully developed. You will need 16 ounces of sauerkraut with the brine for this recipe.

sauerkraut soup, with potatoes, chickpeas, and mushrooms, in a white dutch oven. a blue ladle sits in the soup.

Do You Eat Sauerkraut Hot or Cold?

Now, I already know the first question you have—But what about the probiotic bacteria, won’t heat kill them?

Yes, cooking fermented vegetables kill the beneficial bacteria but, that’s no reason to pass on cooking with fermented veggies! Cooking with fermented foods is not an all-or-nothing decision. If you have a big jar of sauerkraut, you can eat some raw and cook with some to experience the best of both worlds.

Think about sourdough, for instance, so many digestive benefits and amazing flavors are derived from loaves of bread made with a sourdough starter… and the bacteria and yeast in sourdough bread are baked in the oven at 450° F, obliterated, dead. Same with miso and tempeh, these fermented foods are great for gut health but are almost always cooked. 

Cooked fermented vegetables are even easier to digest than raw or plain cooked vegetables. Besides the benefit of digestibility, we can also still derive tons of nutrition from cooked fermented vegetables. The best part of cooking with fermented vegetables is the flavor, though. You can cook fermented vegetables in soups, stews, casseroles, braises, and even loaves of bread for big, bold, delicious flavor. 

Preparing This Recipe

The main thing I think I need to elaborate on in this recipe is the mushroom and onion caramelizing step. It is vital to caramelize your onions and mushrooms until they are dark brown. Some pieces may look crispy and darker brown, and everything will absolutely start to stick to the bottom of the pot 30 minutes in. That is what you want! Don’t worry, you will deglaze the pot. This is where a lot of flavors come from. If you really want to take the flavor over the edge, use smoked cold-pressed olive oil for the caramelizing step.

Other Recipes to Try


Vegan Sauerkraut Soup (sauerkrautsuppe) with Chickpeas and Mushrooms

This winter I wanted to create a soup with a unique, bold flavor, different from any soup I’ve ever tried. So I develop this new recipe, inspired by elements of Ukrainian and German sauerkraut soup recipes. I also used beans and mushrooms in my recipe, for a unique plant-based twist. Enjoy topped with cashew cream and fresh green onions. 

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: German
  • Diet: Vegan




  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground caraway
  • 4 medium Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 16-ounce jar Cultured Guru Sauerkraut
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked and drained


  • yogurt or cashew cream*
  • green onions


  1. In a large dutch oven over medium-low heat, add the olive oil, mushrooms, Tamari, nutritional yeast, maple syrup, black pepper, and yellow onion. Cook the mushroom and onion mixture with occasional stirring until the onions and mushrooms are dark brown, caramelized, and sticking to the bottom of the pot. This can take 30-45 minutes.
  2. While the mushrooms and onions caramelize, preheat your oven to 475° F. Wash, peel, and cube the potatoes into small chunks. Place the potatoes on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Roast the potatoes for 30-45 minutes until golden brown.
  3. Once the mushrooms and onions are caramelized, deglaze the pot with 1/4 cup dry white wine, then add in the celery and carrots. Cook until the celery and carrots are soft. Taste test a carrot to make sure they are soft. 
  4. Add in the tomato paste, paprika, and ground caraway, and stir until all the vegetables are evenly coated.
  5. Add the entire jar of sauerkraut, with the brine, to the pot along with the roasted potatoes.
  6. Add the vegetable broth, water, and chickpeas. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for about 5 more minutes.
  7. Serve in bowls, topped with yogurt or cashew cream and a slice of sourdough bread.


  • to make cashew cream, soak 1 cup of raw cashews in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse, then add the cashews to a blender with a pinch of salt and 1/2 to 3/4 cups of plant based milk.
  • Use smoked olive oil instead of regular olive oil for extra smoky flavor. 

Keywords: vegan, sauerkraut, soup

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Denny G February 20, 2022 - 10:53 am

This looks good…we’re going to give it a try.
We’re eating high-fiber meals and wondering if there’s any nutritional values available?

Kaitlynn Fenley February 23, 2022 - 8:06 am

Wonderful! I hope you enjoy it. I’m sorry but I do not have nutrition facts for my recipes. It may be something we add to your blogs in the future.


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