- 4 cups of water
- v2 pounds sauerkraut (not canned), not drained
- 2 or 3 chicken legs
- 3 small bay leaves
- 4 medium celery ribs
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 large leeks, white part only
- 2 tsp whole allspice
- 2 quarts water
- Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tsp dried marjoram
- 4 tsp cornstarch
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ to ¾ pound kielbasa, sliced, at room temperature
For the garnish:
- 6 medium boiled potatoes
- 3 hard-cooked eggs, cut into halves
- In a 2-3 quart saucepan, bring the 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the sauerkraut and simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes.
- Strain the liquid while it is hot and reserve. There should be about 5 cups. (The suarkraut can be discarded; its flavor is must diminished.)
- While preparing the sauerkraut stock, make the chicken broth: in a 3-5 quart saucepan, combine the chicken, bay leaves, celery, carrots, leeks, allspice, and 2 quarts of fresh cold water. Bring to a brisk simmer over high heat, reduce heart, partially cover, and let it simmer steadily for 1 ½ hours.
- Strain the chicken broth and reserve. There should be about 4 cups; if not, add a little water.
- In a 4-6 quart pot, combine the 4 cups chicken broth with 4 cups of sauerkraut stock. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Add the marjoram.
- In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with the remaining cup of sauerkraut stock. Whisk into the briskly boiling soup and cook for 1 minute, stirring slowly. This will not perceptibly thicken the soup, but it will bind it.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the heavy cream
- To serve, place several rounds of kielbasa, a boiled potato, and half an egg into each wide, deep bowl. Ladle on the hot soup.
Advance preparation: Can be kept refrigerated for up to a week (don’t worry if it separates); it freezes perfectly. Reheat to a simmer before serving