Adapted from Closet Cooking. I made this with Gimme Lean and, frankly, I'm sorry I did. It just had a taste to it that I did not care for. Next time, I'll just make it with potatoes and not bother with meat. But this is good soup. Here, the kraut is the star but I bet it would be quite tasty with ground beef if that's your thing. The kraut, tho, it was amazing. Serves a lot, probably about 6 servings.
1 pound ground beef (or not)
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1/2 cup long grained rice (I used frozen brown rice)
4 cups vegetable broth (use beef if using ground beef in soup)
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz can of petite diced tomatoes
2 cups sauerkraut (with liquid)
1 teaspoon hot paprika
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream (optional)
In a heavy pot or dutch oven, brown the ground beef (if using) and set aside draining the grease from the pot. Heat the oil in the pot add the onions and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute then add the rice and toast for a few minutes. Pour the broth and deglaze the pan. Return the beef to the pot and add tomatoes, sauerkraut, paprika, bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the rice is cooked, about 20 minutes (50 minutes for brown rice). If using frozen rice like I did, simmer until rice is heated through and soup flavors have a chance to meld a bit. I also tossed in a handful of cooked and cubed fingerling potatoes that I had languishing on my counter and they were a nice addition. Serve garnished with sour cream.