Friday, March 15, 2013

Recipe for Leftover Corned Beef Soup with Sauerkraut and Tomatoes

Leftover Corned Beef Soup with Sauerkraut
If you have leftover corned beef on hand, this soup is a tasty way to use it.

(For Friday Favorites I highlight recipes from the past that you may have missed, and this delicious soup with leftover corned beef is a great way to use leftover corned beef from St. Patrick's Day.  I've been so moving to my new house this year that I haven't even cooked any corned beef, but I have happy memories of this from other years.)

By the time most people read this it will be St. Patrick's Day, and I'm guessing you might be cooking Corned Beef in the Crockpot.  I've been experimenting with recipes for leftover corned beef, and this soup is the happy result.  This recipe was inspired by Ground Beef and Sauerkraut Soup, but the finished soup was quite different in flavor.  I ate it with some Swiss cheese sprinkled on top (to continue the decomposed Reuben Sandwich theme) and drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar.  And I didn't have any, but 100% Whole Wheat Irish Brown Bread would have been the perfect thing to dip into the soup.  Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Let's get one thing out of the way before we talk about the recipe.  Yes, I know that corned beef isn't really allowed on the South Beach Diet because of the saturated fat.  I do recommend you choose the leanest corned beef you can find, and I trim off lots of fat when I cook it.  But I also think that life is too short to give up something like Corned Beef on St. Patrick's Day, even if you're on a diet.  I have it for a once-a-year treat, and don't feel the least bit guilty.  And this soup has lots of vegetables in proportion to the amount of corned beef, making it a very diet-friendly way to use the leftovers.
Chop up a large onion, then saute in olive oil for about 5 minutes; add minced garlic and thyme and saute 2-3 minutes more.

Then add chicken stock, beef stock, 2 cans petite diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, and chopped parsley and simmer 30 minutes.

I had this enormous jar of sauerkraut from Costco and used about half of it for the soup.  (Sauerkraut in a jar or fresh sauerkraut has much better flavor than canned, in my opinion.)

Drain 4 cups sauerkraut.  (I didn't rinse, but you can if you want a less-sour flavor.  The bottled sauerkraut is fairly mild, so taste to see what you think.)

Cut corned beef into slices about 1/4 inch thick, then shred apart with your fingers.  (I pulled off some strips of fat as well.)

When the sauerkraut was drained, I chopped it both ways with a big chef's knife because I don't like long strings of sauerkraut in soup!

After 30 minutes, add the sauerkraut, shredded corned beef, and 1 T brown sugar or Splenda to the soup (along with a little water if it seems too thick) and simmer 15 minutes more.

Stir in 1 Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, season to taste with lots of fresh ground black pepper and serve hot.  I ate it with Swiss cheese sprinkled on top and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and wished I'd had some 100% Whole Wheat Irish Brown Bread to dip into the soup!

Leftover Corned Beef Soup with Sauerkraut and Tomatoes
(Makes about 6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups chopped onion)
1 T olive oil
1 T minced garlic
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
4 cups homemade chicken stock (or can use 2 cans chicken broth and a little water)
2 cups homemade beef stock (or can use 1 can beef broth and a little water)
2 cans (14.5 oz. each) petite diced tomatoes
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup chopped parsley (I used flat-leaf parsley)
2-3 large bay leaves
4 cups sauerkraut, drained but not rinsed (I prefer bottled or fresh sauerkraut over canned)
8 oz. leftover cooked corned beef, sliced 1/4 inch thick and then shredded apart into pieces
1 T brown sugar (or Splenda)
1 T balsamic vinegar
fresh ground black pepper to taste
grated Swiss cheese for serving (optional, but good)

Chop one large onion to make 1 1/2 cups chopped onion.  Heat olive oil in a heavy soup pot, add onion and saute about 5 minutes, or until the onions are starting to get lightly browned.  Add minced garlic and dried thyme and saute 2-3 minutes more.

Add chicken stock, beef stock, diced tomatoes with juice, Worcestershire sauce, chopped parsley, and bay leaves and let soup simmer on low for 30 minutes.  While soup simmers, drain the sauerkraut in a colander placed in the sink.  Cut corned beef into 1/4 inch thick slices, then shred apart with your fingers into small pieces.  When sauerkraut is drained, squeeze out any remaining moisture with your hands, put sauerkraut on cutting board, and coarsely chop with large chef's knife.

After 30 minutes, add sauerkraut, corned beef, and brown sugar (or Splenda) to the soup.  Stir soup to see if it's getting too thick, and add about 1 cup more water if needed.  (I added this to mine.)  Let soup simmer 15 minutes more.  

After 15 minutes, stir in 1 T balsamic vinegar and season to taste with fresh ground black pepper.  (The sauerkraut is salty, so I didn't add any salt.)  Serve hot, sprinkled with grated Swiss cheese and an extra drizzle of balsamic vinegar if desired.  

I haven't frozen it yet, but I'm sure this soup freezes well.  I would love this with 100% Whole Wheat Irish Brown Bread to dip into the soup.

South Beach Suggestions:
As I said, corned beef isn't really recommended for the South Beach Diet, due to the amount of saturated fat.  However, if you indulge in it for a special occasion like St. Patrick's Day, this soup is packed with other low-glycemic ingredients which makes it a healthful way to use the leftovers.

Nutritional Information? 
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Ideas for Leftover Corned Beef or St. Patrick's Day Treats:
(Recipes from other blogs may not be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Reuben Sandwich from The Sophisticated Gourmet
Roasted Cabbage with Lemon from Kalyn's Kitchen
Irish Eggs Benedict from Big Red Kitchen 
Pureed Cauliflower and Cabbage with Green Onions and Parmesan from Kalyn's Kitchen
Reuben Casserole from A Veggie Venture
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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  1. Now, why don't I ever think of using sauerkraut in soup? Such a great idea! I love this "reuben in a bowl". And you're so right. Life is to short to pass up corned beef on St. Patrick's Day.

  2. Kalyn, is there such possible thing as leftover corned beef? My Irish MIL makes it every year for St. Patrick's Day and I eat so much of it, never leaving anything over. I might next time though just to try this delicious soup. I like the sauerkraut in there. Nice touch.

  3. Thanks Lydia! I should have called it Reuben in a Bowl, love that name!

    Nisrine, I know what you mean! I do love the sauerkraut in this soup and also the ground beef and sauerkraut soup that inspired it.

  4. This looks great! I would not have thought of ever putting sauerkraut in a soup - but hey it's worth a try! Now if I can just remember to wear green...

  5. Liz, when I taught elementary school, no teacher would ever forget to wear green! It was mandatory!

  6. This makes me REALLY wish I had leftover corned beef.

  7. Great creation - it looks delicious

  8. Joanne, not too late to cook some!

    Big Dude, thanks. It was a great lunch!

  9. Oh, my, that looks good! Now I need to go buy a corned beef and cook it so I can make this.

  10. The addition of sauerkraut in your soup is genius, Kalyn. We won't have any leftover corned beef this time, but I'm saving the recipe for next year.

  11. Great post thanks for sharing. I really enjoy reading your blog very much. Feel free to check out our recipes

  12. Thought you'd love this one - - my third graders and I were singing an Irish song today which had a phrase about corn beef and cabbage. They were clueless so I popped up your blog on the projector and showed them the pix from a few days ago. The kiddos said they were hungry. So know I'm still reading and using your blog for more than recipes! :>) Lynette

  13. Glad people are liking this.

    Lynette, too fun! I'm glad you are educating these kinds about Corned Beef and Cabbage!

  14. I saw this recipe today and made it tonight--I didn't have any left over corned beef, so i just bought a can. Probably not as tasty as the original, but it's what I'm used to. This soup is delicious, and was very quick to put together. It will get eaten many more times than just around St. Pat's day!

  15. mmmh,,,it look like so delicious
    maybe i want to make it later
    nice post

  16. Linda, I didn't think about corned beef in a can! Thanks for letting us know it worked in the soup.

  17. Yum! What a great soup idea!

  18. I made this yesterday and was surprised at how good it turned out. I thought the sauerkraut might overwhelm the soup but it didn't - it mellowed and tasted more like cabbage.

    I made a few changes - left out the parsley since I didn't have any - and substituted a honey mustard glaze I'd used on my corned beef for the brown sugar - the mustard was a nice addition to the soup.

    I'll be making this again ...

  19. Glad you liked it, and I'm imagining a bit of mustard flavor in there and it sounds good to me!

  20. Hi Kalyn. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your recipes. Thank you so much for taking the time to create and share them. Just saw this recipe and would like to make it. Do you think this could be converted to a crockpot recipe? I work 10 hour days and would love it to just be ready when I got home tomorrow. :)

  21. I can't honestly say how this would work in the crockpot. I worry about the corned beef all shredding apart if it was cooked all day. If you try it, I'd reduce the amount of liquid by at least a cup or so.

  22. This soup looks and sounds delicious. Makes me wish we had leftover corned beef so I could give it a try.

  23. I tried your recipe and found it to be a tasty treat. I almost followed your directions but added the sauerkraut along with the other liquids and cooked for about 1/2 hour. I added the corned beef(deli bought)to my serving bowl at this point allowing the soup to warm the CB. The kraut, balsamic and brown sugar combo goes into the memory banks--have you tried it with Kielbasa or roast pork?

  24. Mike I haven't tried this with other meats, but I think there are quite a few possibilities.

  25. These flavors sounds fantastic. I never think to pick up sauerkraut at the store, but enjoy it whenever I eat it elsewhere.

  26. Dara, I know what you mean. It's such a healthful food that there should be a lot more recipes using it!


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