I found this soup by accident, but it’s quickly become one of my most requested dishes. The recipe below is an adaptation of this recipe that Decatur Macpherson shared on 12 Tomatoes. I made it for the first time a little over a month ago, and I’ve made 2 more batches since then, it’s THAT good! Even my husband who is a bit iffy about soups, LOVES this soup and happily “scuppers it up,” as he’d say with his dreamy British lilt. It’s easier to make than you’d expect, and it only takes about 30-40 minutes to put together, depending on your knife skills and whether you have a food processor to grate your carrots for you.
Once you have all of your ingredients prepared and ready to go, you’ll want to heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium- high heat and sauté the onions and carrots until the onions are translucent and the carrots have softened. This should take about 7-9 minutes.
Next, add the garlic and diced corned beef, and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano. If you’re unsure about how much seasoning to use, just use a large pinch of both the salt and pepper, and then taste it at the end and add more if it needs it. It’s always best to under season and then have to add a little more of this and that later on than to over season and have to add more ingredients to balance it back out.
Pour in the chicken stock, then stir in the sauerkraut and bay leaf. If you’re worried that the this will make it sour or odd-tasting, let your mind be at ease knowing that I worried about the same thing. My husband is VERY sensitive to sour tastes, and I was a little concerned that he wouldn’t be able to palate this soup, but it’s one of his absolute favorites. But you will soon discover that instead of being sour and briny, the sauerkraut gives a delightful balance to the flavors in the soup. Bring the contents to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Create a slurry by whisking cornstarch and water together in a small bowl. Remove the bay leaf from the soup so that nobody ends up having the unpleasant experience of fishing it out with their spoon. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until the soup thickens.
Cut each rye bread slice into 3-4 long strips. Toast on low because they will brown quickly. Set aside for serving. Toast on low because they will brown quickly. Set aside for serving. If you prefer, you can make croutons instead of toast strips like the original author of this recipe did, but I prefer to have something to dip as opposed to fish out, but this is purely a personal preference.
Stir in the cream and Swiss cheese. If you’d like, you can use half and half or light cream instead of heavy cream for a very similar but less caloric effect.
Cook for another 5 minutes or so, or until the cheese has fully melted. Test the soup to see if it needs salt or pepper, and adjust accordingly. Finally, add the caraway seeds and stir until they’re well distributed throughout the soup. Ladle into serving bowls, then top with 2 rye toast strips and serve hot. Enjoy!
- 64 oz chicken stock
- 1 lb deli corned beef (or pastrami), diced, with the fat removed
- 8 oz sauerkraut, drained
- 2 yellow onions, chopped
- 6 carrots, grated
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 12 oz sliced Swiss cheese, chopped
- 2 Tbsp avocado oil
- 8 slices Jewish rye bread
- kosher salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsp caraway seeds (plus extra for garnish), whole (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat and sauté the onions and carrots until softened, about 7-9 minutes.
- Add the garlic and diced corned beef, and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano.
- Pour in the chicken stock, then stir in the sauerkraut and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Create a slurry by whisking cornstarch and cold water together in a small bowl. Remove the bay leaf from soup, and stir in the cornstarch slurry. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until the soup thickens.
- Cut each rye bread slice into 3-4 long strips. Toast on low because they will brown quickly. Set aside for serving.
- Stir in the cream and Swiss cheese and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper to balance it. Finally, add the caraway seeds and stir until they're well distributed throughout the soup.
- Ladle into serving bowls, garnish with another little sprinkle of caraway seeds, and top with 2 rye toast strips. Serve hot.