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white plate with Czech Vegetarian Sauerkraut Soup (Zelňačka)

Czech Vegetarian Sauerkraut Soup (Zelňačka)

  • Author: Michal Martinek
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves $
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: Czech


Vegetarian version of a classic, Czech sauerkraut soup, called zelňačka. It’s a light-bodied, refreshing soup, and you’ll only need five simple ingredients.


  • 1½ cups (145 g) strained, roughly chopped sauerkraut
  • 7 cups cold water
  • 2 cups (280 g) diced potatoes, skin-on or peeled, about 1/2-inch dice (yellow, russet, or red potatoes)
  • 1 cup (227 g) sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons (22 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) sugar (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste (optional)
  • Soft-boiled, 6-minute egg (optional)


  1. Combine the sauerkraut with the water in a medium-size pot, and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Lower the heat, add the potatoes, and cook until soft, 12–15 minutes.
  3. Mix the sour cream with the flour in a small bowl, and stir it into the soup. Add the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the soup thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. 
  4. Stir in the egg and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the sugar and black pepper, if using .
  5. Ladle the soup into a bowl and serve with a soft-boiled egg (optional).
  6. Store the soup, covered, in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days. Don’t freeze—the soup would separate and become grainy.