Family recipe

This is the third addition to the #SouperBowl lineup. We were challenged to make a German soup with the ingredients of beer, cheese, and bread. This was significantly less of a stretch than Moroccan for me. I took a family recipe and tweaked it a bit and this is what I came up with. The rules we are running under were originally posted at Nickel Moon. If you have been following along you know that there is a nationality picked and three ingredients that must be used, everything else is fair game.

This soup turned out great. My wife who does not like beer or sauerkraut  enjoyed it as well and made her coworkers jealous when reheating the leftovers the next day in the office microwave. I only simmered it for 45 minutes, but I think that a longer simmering time really would have brought the cheese flavor out more. Next time I make this I plan on making it in a crock pot, simmering throughout the day with better beer than I happened to have on hand. This received a partial seal of approval from the little guy. He enjoyed the broth but wasn’t as much into the rest of it.

Hofbräuhaus Sauerkraut Soup


  • 2 strips of bacon diced
  • 4 knockwurst sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 cored, peeled, grated apple
  • 2 beers (preferably a dark German beer but I used an American lager and it was good)
  • 1 can pureed tomato
  • 1 quart beef stock
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2-3 cheese ends * (Parmesan if you have it)
  • 1 lb sauerkraut drained
  • 1 Russet potato grated
  • Salt to taste
  • Bread cut into rounds toasted
  • 5 TBS or more grated Swiss cheese


  1. In a dutch oven or pot with cover, saute bacon until crispy and set aside.
  2. In the bacon grease sauté the knockwurst until just browned and set aside as well.
  3. Sauté onion until it start to get soft; add the grated potatoes and apple and saute for an additional 5 minutes then add the sauerkraut and toss together.
  4. Add the cheese ends, caraway seeds (in a tea ball or wrapped in cheese cloth), tomato puree, beer and beef stock and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover then set to a simmer for 45 minutes to 8 hours. Remove the cheese ends and spice packet.
  6. Add the bacon and knockwurst to a pot and continue to simmer for at least another 5 minutes or unto ready to serve.
  7. Serve out the soup into your bowls, top with the toasted crouton and cover each with a bit of grated cheese and melt under it a broiler..

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 00:10

Cook time: 01:00

* Save your cheese ends in a bag in a freezer whenever you finish a hard cheese. Cut off any of the wax or other inedible coating and use it to deeper the flavor of soups. It’s free flavor, do it.


One of my favorite soups growing up was my mom’s garbage soup. We also called it escarole soup if we wanted it to sound more appetizing. I have been eating this for as long as I can remember and it is a family favorite. I have found that just about everyone else in the world already knows about it or something similar under the name Italian wedding soup.

When the SouperBowl challenge was first proposed on twitter I dont think it mattered what the mystery three ingredients were, I was making this soup as soon as I saw that the chosen type was Italian. In this case the three ingredients to use were orange peel, eggplant, and beans.

Replacing the potatoes in the soup with beans seemed easy enough (probably more traditional) as was adding orange zest to the meatballs, but where to put the eggplant. In the end I decided that I loved the smokey flavor of roasted eggplant and it might add a nice smokiness to the meatball. So I added roasted eggplant to the meat and an extra egg and bread crumbs to hold things together.

All in all I thought it was great. I would skip the eggplant next time but I might keep the orange and beans.

Everyone, even the most important critic at the table, liked it. Myself I thought the flavors were very good, however I had been eating my mom’s original version of this my entire life so I had a hard time getting past the fact that this was almost right, just slightly off.

This may go without saying, but I would recommend not dropping your soup on the floor. It looks remarkably less appetizing afterwards… though I still ate the meatballs.

Eggplant Escarole Soup


  • 2 quarts beef stock
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 Large Eggplant
  • 3/4 lb ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (approximate just enough to hold things together)
  • 1 lb escarole sliced
  • 2 medium carrots sliced
  • 2 celery sticks sliced
  • 1 orange
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 30 oz cooked or canned cannellini beans
  • salt to taste
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. Preheat Oven to 500 F
  2. While preheating chop and slice all your veggies and set aside
  3. Zest the orange and set aside
  4. Combine stock, tomato paste, and juice from half of the orange and bring to a simmer over a medium low heat
  5. Poke lots of holes with a fork in the eggplant and place on a baking pan in the preheated oven, baking eggplant for one hour until charred
  6. Scoop out the eggplant and cool by stirring in a metal bowl over a bowl of ice water
  7. Mix eggplant, orange zest, salt, garlic, eggs, meat, and bread crumbs (enough to hold together loosely)
  8. Form 3/4 inch meat balls and place in simmering stock cover for 10 minutes
  9. Add the carrots, celery and escarole and continue cooking covered, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes or until the carrots are just tender
  10. Add the beans, stir and serve with Parmesan cheese grated over if you like

Yield: 6 servings


Prep Time: 00:30

Cook time: 01:40