Zelnečka is a hearty winter dish, a classic Czech soup that brings pickled cabbage and hot spicy paprika sausages together in one bowl. Like many dishes from this part of the world there is a wonderful balance between sweet, spicy, smoky and hot and it’s the perfect supper for anyone who needs some warming up after a cold day outside in the wind and rain. At O’Flynns we sell gluten free Czech and traditional Polish Kielbasa sausages and both are ideal for this recipe. So here’s how you do it.
Zelnečka: Czech Cabbage Soup (Serves: 4-6)
1lb sauerkraut (jarred may also be used)
3 O’Flynns Czech Spicy Sausages or our Polish kielbasa, cut into bite-size chunks
1 large potato, peeled and cubed or cut into even-sized pieces
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tsp whole caraway seed
large pinch of ground cayenne pepper
1 litre water or stock
Salt and pepper
sour cream to top soup
Drain the sauerkraut, place in a large bowl, cover with water and set aside. In a large pot heat the oil add the onion and potatoes and saute until the potatoes are soft and onion translucent. Add the sausage and garlic and cook for another 3 minutes. If the sausage releases a lot of oil drain most of it out.
Add the bay leaf and caraway seeds to the pot and cook for 2 minutes. Next add the smoked paprika, cayenne, black pepper and water, or stock, and give the ingredients a stir.
Drain the sauerkraut and add to the pot. Cover and simmer the soup for 45 minutes or as long as desired. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.
Thanks to spiciefoodie for this recipe