Polish Kapusniak with Buraczki

The fire is on and there is a Polish Kapuśniak with Buraczki on the table – all is well. I still remember the cold winters in the UK, when it used to be part of Europe – seems so long ago now – and I remember the joy in discovering a polish café near Ravenscourt Park that served the most deliciously warming bowl of soup. And although the winters are not quite that cold here on the continent, a Polish soup is always welcome, especially when it’s crowned with Buraczki’s horseradish warmth.

serves 2 – twice!

for the Kapuśniak
4 rashers bacon, cut into small strips
1 large onion, diced
2 sticks celery, medium slice
4 carrots, medium slice
2 potatoes, medium dice
2 large garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 small Savoy cabbage head, shredded (core removed)
5 Blanquet sausages, cut into 2cm pieces
1 ham bone
400g sauerkraut or any fermented cabbage, liquid reserved
1 can Italian tomatoes
2 litres good chicken stock – hopefully homemade.
1½ tsp paprika or Pimentón de la Vera
1 Bay leaf
1 tbsp sugar
Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper

Small sprig of parsley

for the Buraczki Zasmażane:

3 medium beetroots
200ml cream
3 lemon juice
1 tbsp grated horseradish root or creamed horseradish
Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a heavy-bottomed pan, add the bacon and render down the fat.
  2. Add the celery, carrot and garlic.
  3. Once the onion is translucent, add the potatoes and cabbage.
  4. When the cabbage starts to wilt, add the ham bone, sauerkraut, tomatoes, stock, paprika, bay leaf and sugar.
  5. Stir to combine and bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes, by which time the flavours would have melded.
  6. Season to taste.

Buraczki Zasmażane:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Peel the beetroots – use gloves if you don’t particulally want stained hands.
  3. Cut the beets into quarters, toss in a little oil, season and bake for about 40 minutes or until soft.
  4. Once soft, remove from the oven and leave to cool a little.
  5. Add the beetroot quarters to a blender and blitz to a rough purée .
  6. Add the remaining ingredients and blend to combine.
  7. Season to taste.

Serve your Polish Kapuśniak with a good helping of Buraczki Zasmażane. Finish with a few parsley leaves.


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