Sauerkraut soup

    Serves 6 to 8

    • 4 Tbs. olive oil
    • 4 Tbs. butter
    • 3 large onions, coarsely chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
    • 2 Tbs. sweet paprika
    • ¼ tsp. hot paprika
    • 2 lbs. sauerkraut
    • 6 cups water (more if needed)
    • 1 stalk celery, sliced
    • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
    • 3 cups sliced, peeled tomatoes, with their juice
    • 1 tsp. caraway seeds
    • 2 to 3 oz. dried black mushrooms
    • 3 tsp. sugar
    • ½ cup red wine
    • 1 tsp. dill weed
    • 1½ tsp. salt, or more to taste
    • pepper to taste

    1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet. Add the chopped onions and garlic, and sauté them until they begin to turn golden. Add the 2 paprikas, stir for a moment, then add the sauerkraut, water, celery, carrot, and tomatoes.
    2. Pound the caraway seeds lightly in a mortar and add them to the soup. Soak the black mushrooms in water for a few minutes. Drain them, discarding the water, and wash each one very carefully. Then cut them into thin strips and add them to the soup.
    3. Season the soup with sugar, red wine, dill weed, and salt and pepper. Let the soup simmer gently for at least 1 hour, longer if possible. Add a little more water if the soup becomes too thick.