Reuben soup combines corned beef, potatoes, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese in a simple creamy dish. It’s the perfect way to use up St. Patrick’s Day leftovers!
If you asked me what my favorite deli sandwich is I’d probably have to think long and hard between a hot pastrami on rye (class NYC right there) or a Reuben.
The one thing a Reuben sandwich has over hot pastrami to probably give it (the ever so tiny) win is one ingredient in my opinion: sauerkraut.
Gosh I love that stuff.
In fact, I love all fermented vegetables but sauerkraut in particular is a solid favorite. With melted Swiss cheese, it’s what gives a Reuben the upper hand in the long list of deli sandwiches. Something about that sour fermented tang with the salty corned beef is just the perfect flavor combination.
I’ve made Reuben steaks before (and damn, they’re good if I do say so myself) and when I was trying to brainstorm some ideas for how to use leftover corned beef you might have after St. Patrick’s Day, Reuben soup is what came to mind.
Sure, you can make a corned beef breakfast hash or corned beef tacos, those are both delicious recipes using corned beef but if your March is anything like ours right now in New York, it’s cold as heck out there and a creamy corned beef soup studded with potatoes, sauerkraut and melted Swiss cheese sounds a tad bit more comforting and fitting.
How Do I Make Reuben Soup?
The main ingredients in this Reuben soup recipe are very similar to the sandwich:
- corned beef
- Swiss cheese
Potatoes are the one difference but really add a nice heartiness to this creamy soup.
Unlike super heavy creamy soups, this recipe uses just ¼ cup cream at the end. The broth is mainly chicken broth so it’s not as much of a dietary splurge as it may look.
Fennel seeds, Worcestershire sauce and a bay leaf give the soup its flavor along with garlic and onions sautéed in some butter to start (like any good soup).
You can use any sauerkraut you like but I’ve recently been buying the Cleveland Kraut brand and absolutely love their spicy gnar gnar kraut. I used it in this Reuben soup and it added such a fun spicy kick that as a total spice freak I couldn’t get enough of.
The method to make this Reuben soup is like any other simple stove top soup:
- Sauté onions and garlic in some butter
- Add flour to help thicken.
- Add spices, potatoes, corned beef and sauerkraut.
- Simmer in the chicken broth until potatoes are tender.
- Add heavy cream, cheese and scallions, stir and serve.
What If I Don’t Have Leftover Corned Beef?
No worries, I’ve got a hack for you!
And this totally applies if you want to make this soup at any other time throughout the year not around St. Patrick’s Day since it can be hard to find corned beef outside of the month of March.
Ask for corned beef at the deli counter and have them slice it very thick (ideally in one big chunk). All you have to do is chop it up at home before throwing it into the soup pot.
Can I Make Reuben Soup in the Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker?
I didn’t test this recipe either way because it’s honestly too easy and quick on the stove top for those methods to make sense.
One of my pet peeves with pressure cooker recipes is when people use it to make things that don’t need to be made in a pressure cooker (aka: cheesecakes and pasta – picture me rolling my eyes here).
This Reuben soup recipe is not something that needs to be made in the pressure cooker. If you’re using leftover corned beef or corned beef from the deli counter, the meat is already cooked and doesn’t require pressure to cook fast or become tender. Not to mention, this whole recipe is probably ready start to finish in the same time it would take the pressure cooker to just come to pressure in the first place.
If you wanted to make this in the slow cooker because you want dinner ready when you get home from work, I can totally understand that and would do the following:
- Sauté onions and garlic in butter on the stove top.
- Add flour until thickened.
- Add mixture to the slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients except heavy cream, Swiss cheese and scallions.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours
- Add cream, Swiss cheese and scallions 10 minutes before serving.
For someone who has never really been into St. Patrick’s Day, I’m sorta digging its food this year.
From healthy shamrock shakes to brown bread muffins, Bailey’s ice cream, no-bake Irish Cream cheesecakes and a fun oatmeal recipe I have coming your way next week, can’t say I’m too upset about weird leprechauns, made up pots of gold and 4-leaf clovers.
I still refuse to get on the green food dye bandwagon though. The Irish can keep that one.
Love this creamy Reuben soup with potatoes?
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (sub gluten-free flour if needed)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 medium Russet potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 pound cooked corned beef, chopped
- 1 cup drained sauerkraut
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
- dash Worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese (I used Jarlsberg)
- 2 scallions, chopped
- Melt butter in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.
- Add onions and garlic and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add flour, stir to combine and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Add chicken broth, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Add the potatoes, corned beef, sauerkraut, bay leaf, fennel seeds, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
- Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.
- Remove from heat, stir in the heavy cream, grated Swiss and chopped scallions.
- Season to taste with additional salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve hot!