Oktoberfest Brat & Potato Soup

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 package bratwurst (see note)
1 onion, diced
1 cup carrots, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 beef bouillon cubes

1 cup lager beer (1/2 bottle)
1 box chicken stock
2 cups water

3 russet potatoes,
peeled and cubed to bite-size pieces
1 can sauerkraut, rinsed
OR 1/2 head cabbage, chopped and
1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • In a soup pot or Dutch oven, sauté bratwurst until brown. Add and sauté onion and carrots, until softened, 3-4 mins. Next, add garlic, sauté 1 min. 
  • Add all the spices and bouillon and sauté, for 2-3 mins until the bottom of the pan gets caramelized brown bits. Don't rush this step! Then, add beer to deglaze the pan, scraping the browned bits off the bottom. Let simmer for 2-3 mins, then add stock and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 4-5 mins.
  • Add potatoes and cook until fork tender, approx. 15 mins. Use a potato masher to break up the potato in the soup (more smash than mash). This thickens the soup. Add kraut, or cabbage. Simmer for 10 mins, then season to taste. If you are using cabbage in place of kraut, add vinegar at the end, off the heat.
  • Serve in large bowls with horseradish (optional) and some hearty, rye bread or rustic rolls.
Note: I used precooked brats, sliced into rounds. If using fresh, just remove casing and brown the crumbled meat. You could also use smoked sausage, kielbasa or any sausage.


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