This soup is a clever riff on the classic Reuben sandwich. The recipe contains cream (or milk if you prefer) which at first you might think weird with the sauerkraut but actually works. If the pairing of cream and sauerkraut is beyond your palate threshold, use all broth or stock. If you’re going to use raw sauerkraut, such as the one offered in the share, be sure to add it near the end, just to heat through. Don’t let the soup come to the boil at that point, or the enzymes and probiotics in the sauerkraut will be destroyed. Sub turkey or chicken for the beef, though keep the cheese in, for Reuben’s sake. To make rye croutons, cube rye bread, toss with some oil, salt, and pepper, place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 -15 minutes at 350ºF. They’ll crisp up as they cool.
2 T butter or vegetable oil
1 c chopped onion
1 c total chopped roots, one type (such as celeriac) or a combination
2 T arrowroot, corn starch or flour
3 c beef or other broth, or vegetable stock
2 c milk or half-and-half, or use all broth or stock
1/2 lb sliced or chopped pastrami or corned beef
1 1/2 c sauerkraut, drained if you like
pepper, to taste
1 1/2 c shredded Swiss cheese or other good melting cheese
rye croutons, for garnish, optional (but keeps the Reuben tradition)
1. Melt butter or heat oil in a soup pot. Add onion and chopped roots and sauté for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the arrowroot until the vegetables are coated. Gradually add the 3 c broth (or 5 c total if not using milk or cream). Bring to the boil, reduce heat some and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes until the broth has thickened some.
2. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Add the milk or cream, the beef, sauerkraut, and pepper. Heat through without boiling. Stir in cheese until melted. Taste for seasonings. It may need salt, though pastrami, sauerkraut and cheese all contain salt, as well as store-bought broth.
3. Serve with rye croutons scattered over the soup, if you like.