Carrot & Sauerkraut Soup

Some lively spicing makes this otherwise very simple soup seem more complex than it is, and the main ingredients have a good sweet and sour balance too them. Like a lot of mostly-vegetable soups, it's quick to make and can be eaten at once, although leftovers will keep in the fridge for a day or two and reheat nicely. 

We ate it with Rye & Spelt Naan, and thought it was a terrific combination. (Never mind the soup. The soup is tasty, but I'm absolutely in love with that bread. I can't make it too often because I will eat it. It may just be that it's bread, though.)
4 to 6 servings
45 minutes - 30 minutes prep time

Carrot & Sauerkraut Soup with Rye-Spelt Naan

250 grams (1/2 pound; 2 or 3 large) carrots
1 large onion
2 to 4 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves 
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon sweet or smoked Hungarian paprika
6 allspice berries
2 tablespoons barley or other flour
2 tablespoons chicken fat, bacon fat, OR vegetable oil
3 cups chicken OR vegetable stock
1/3 cup sauerkraut OR dill pickle brine
2 cups fine, chopped sauerkraut
1 to 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Peel and grate the carrots. Peel and finely chop the onion. Put them aside together. 
Peel and mince the garlic. Put them in a small bowl with the bay leaves, salt, pepper, paprika, allspice berries, and flour. 
Heat the fat of your choice in a heavy-bottomed soup pot, over medium heat. Add the carrots and onion and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. They should cook down well; if they get a little brown towards the end that's okay, but keep them from browning too early. 

Add the little bowl of garlic and spices, and mix in well. Cook for another minute or two, until no raw flour can be seen and the garlic is fragrant. Add the stock and the brine and mix in well. Let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally. Keep covered. 

Stir in the sauerkraut and mix in well. Let it heat through. Mix in the mustard and serve at once. 

Last year at this time I made Mustardy Curried Green Beans.

Carrot & Sauerkraut Soup