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Hungarian Sauerkraut “Hangover” Soup – Korhely Leves

Sauerkraut is naturally fermented cabbage that taste refreshingly sour and bears many health benefits especially for the digestive system. A popular dish in Hungary during the overindulging Christmas festivites and also affectionatley known as the hangover soup.


  • 300 g sauerkraut (shredded fermented cabbage)
  • 2 litre of water
  • 3 bay dried leaves
  • 150 g smoked bacon diced
  • 150 g smoked chorizo style sausage cut into thin slices
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt
  • sour cream

For the roux

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 0.5 medium onion finely chopped
  • 20 ml sunflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons of white flour
  • 50 ml cold water
  • 1 tablespoon of Hungarian paprika powder

How to make

  1. Drain the sauerkraut of juices and rinse, place in a pot and cover with the 2 litre of water.
  2. Add diced bacon, sliced sausage, bay leaves and salt.
  3. Cook on moderate heat till the sauerkraut is tender about 30 minutes.
  4. Alongside in another pan prepare a rou that will flavour and thicken the soup. For this saute the chopped onion slightly on the oil, sprinkle on the flour and cook until it starts to develop a slight colour. Remove from the heat then add the paprika powder and the crushed garlic clove (these would burn easily on the heat), combine then pour in the 50 ml cold water. The water has to be cold to achieve a lump-free consistency.
  5. Add the rou to the still simmering sauerkraut soup.
  6. Finish by adding the juice of 1 lemon.
  7. Serve hot with sour cream.

5 thoughts on “Hungarian Sauerkraut “Hangover” Soup – Korhely Leves

  1. I love this soup. In our house my mom made this soup whenever we got sick, she called it Miracle Soup. We make it minus the meat, but it is still delicious
    Thank you for your beautiful site.. Brings back the recipes I grew up with.

    1. Thank you Aviva, nice to hear that the recipes remind you of a piece of home. This can be quite an easy on the stomach comfort food with the sour cabbage, your mom’s Miracle Soup must have been delicious!

  2. I made this last week… and it is very delicious….Igazi finom…Koszonom.. Love your website… regards Ray

  3. Please realize that cooking naturally fermented cabbage will destroy any living lactobacilli,thus depriving the recovering korhely (overindulger) of any gut-friendly bacteria. Therefore…unless you have gallons of homeade sauerkraut, make your leves with a good store-bought sauerkraut and add some raw lacto-fermented kraut to your bowl.

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