This soup is called korhelyleves in Hungarian. Is is originally a meaty cabbage soup that is often eaten on New Year’s Day. Korhely often refers to a person who likes to drink alcohol and as a result is lazy and careless. Sour cabbage (sauerkraut) soup is thought to relieve the symptoms of a hangover, and this is probaby the reason why this traditional Hungarian soup is so popular on New Year’s Eve and also called korhelyleves.
Sauerkraut is made by a process of pickling called lacto-fermentation that is analogous to how traditional (not heat-treated) pickled cucumbers and kimchi are made. The cabbage is finely shredded, layered with salt and left to ferment. Fully cured sauerkraut keeps for several months in an airtight container stored at 15 °C (60 °F) or below. It is extremely high in vitamins C, B, and K; the fermentation process increases the bioavailability of nutrients rendering sauerkraut even more nutritious than the original cabbage. It is also low in calories and high in calcium and magnesium, and it is a very good source of dietary fiber, folate, iron, potassium, copper and manganese.
I love this soup especially during cold months so I cook it quiet often. Of course, mine is a vegan version and I usually add vegan what sausage to the soup which gives a great smoky flavor to the soup.
Red Lentil Sauerkraut Soup
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 medium carrot, grated
- 200 g red lentil
- 200 g sauerkraut
- 1 and 1/2 liter water
- 2 bay leaves
- vegan wheat sausages (optional)
- sunflower oil
- sour cream/soy yoghurt for serving the soup
Wash the sauerkraut well in cold water and chop them.
In a pan heat 3-4 tablespouns sunflower oil and saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes. Then add the grated carrot, red lentil and just enough water to cover. Season with salt, add bay leaves, wheat sausage (if you use) and sauerkraut. Put a lid on top and simmer for 20 minutes.
Serve the soup with sour cream or soy yoghurt.