This is a family favourite, you will see a few chunky bits of sauerkraut, that is on purpose, as my family like it chunky, rather having it shredded super fine.
You can make this with store bought sauerkraut, I try to buy whole leaves so again, I can shred it how I like it, but if can't find whole leaves, normal shredded sauerkraut is just fine. Rinse the sauerkraut in cold water only if it tastes too sour.
With regards to the ribs, try and find ones with a lot of meat on them. And if you do, buy a few, they freeze really well.
With the beans, you can substitute in red kidney beans also.
So if you want to try a little traditional comfort food, give this soup a try, it's delicious.
1.2kg shredded sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
1kg smoked pork ribs, cut up into individual ribs
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon vegeta
2 small red chillies, halved
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
2 heaped tablespoons plain flour
1 tablespoon ground paprika
2 x 400g tins borlotti beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper, to taste
Put the smoked ribs in a large saucepan. Top with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, drain. This is done to remove excess salt from the ribs. If you know the ribs are not salty, you can skip this step.
Place the cabbage, ribs, garlic, bay leaf, chillies, vegeta and some pepper into a large pot. Add 3-3.5 litres of water. You want enough water to cover the ingredients, but also be loose to stir around. Bring to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
Remove the ribs from the pot, take out the bones and chop up the meat. Return the meat to the soup.
Make the Zaprzak: In a medium frying pan add the oil and onion. Sauté over a medium heat until just starting to colour. Add the flour and paprika, stirring constantly, cook for 1-2 minutes (you may need to add a splash more oil if it feels too dry). Add 1-2 cups of cold water to the zaprzak, mix to make a smooth paste and add it to the soup. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning, add salt only if needed. If your soup is too thick, you can add a some boiling water to it, if needed.
Now add the beans and simmer for a further 10 minutes, taste for seasoning, add salt, pepper or a little extra vegeta, if needed.
Ladle into bowls and serve.
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