Reuben Soup

I’m sorry if you’re starting to feel overwhelmed by all of my St. Patrick’s Day recipes. Well, I’m not really sorry. I am thoroughly enjoying myself, let me tell you. Tonight’s dinner was a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing. I have had Reuben soup at various food festivals and was always so excited at the prospect of them. Sadly, I have always been under-whelmed by them. They have been overly-thick and rather bland, which seems so strange a salty ingredient like corned beef and a sour/briny ingredient like sauerkraut. And they never really felt like a Reuben to me- they were somehow missing the thousand island dressing component to me and sometimes even the rye. So I decided to take a crack at this soup myself.


I started with a fairly basic soup base: sauteing some onions and green peppers in butter, stirring in some flour to create a rouxe, deg-lazing with sherry wine, mixing in broth, thickening, mixing in the sauerkraut and meat, then the half and half and bringing the whole thing to a light simmer. The green peppers are not a traditional ingredient in an actual reuben but they contribute some zing that helps you get the thousand island component in this soup. The other “secret” ingredient that brings thousand island dressing to the party is a teaspoon of pickle relish! I know it sounds a bit odd, but it is a primary ingredient in making homemade thousand island dressing. Just go with me on this. Regarding the broth, I decided to make this soup partially because I saved about half of my corned beef cooking liquid. If you remember my corned beef and cabbage post, I cooked the corned beef in a seasoned Guinness mixture, resulting in a dark, salty liquid after cooking. It is too salty to use straight but with the addition of the half and half later in this recipe, it results in a well seasoned soup that, for me, required no additional salt or pepper. If you don’t have cooking liquid to use, use a good quality beef stock instead. You may also choose to add some Guinness during the “deglazing” step if you wish. I would have if I hadn’t already including this beer in the cooking liquid.

After the soup is done you can serve it like that if you wish. But wait- you are forgetting the rye bread and swiss! So instead of serving it as is, which would be delicious, ladle yourself a bowl of it, top with a slice of rye and a slice of cheese and stick it under the broiler for bubbly deliciousness. This is reminiscent of the topping on french onion soup. Since I wasn’t actually serving all of the soup tonight. I topped the remaining slices of bread with cheese, placed them on a baking sheet and broiled them that way so they’d be ready to go for some leftovers in days to come.



Reuben Soup


  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • ½ a medium green pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup dry sherry
  • 2 cups good quality beef broth (or leftover cooking liquid from corned beef)
  • ½-3/4 cups drained sauerkraut
  • 1 tsp. sweet pickle relish
  • 8 oz. cooked corned beef, diced or shredded
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 4 slices of rye bread
  • 4 slices of Swiss cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste (may not be needed if using cooking liquid instead of broth)


  • Melt butter in a dutch oven over medium-high heat
  • Sauté the onion and green pepper in the butter until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently


  • Preheat your broiler and place 4 oven safe soup bowls on a sheet pan
  • Mix in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly
  • Stir in the sherry and cook until the liquid is gone
  • Gradually mix in the broth (or cooking liquid)


  • Bring to a boil and cook until thickened, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes
  • Reduce heat to medium and stir in the sauerkraut, relish and corned beef
  • Stir in the half and half
  • Cook over medium heat until barely simmering, do not allow to boil and remove from heat
  • Check for seasoning and adjust as necessary


  • Divide the soup among the soup bowls
  • Place one piece of bread on top of each bowl (cutting if necessary to make it fit just inside so it is floating on the soup) and one piece of cheese on each piece of bread


  • Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Time for this will depend on your oven, watch it so it doesn’t burn
  • Remove from oven and serve



11 responses to “Reuben Soup

  1. Jess, it just keeps getting better. And Kroger has the tip corned beef on sale for $2.94 lb. this week, so I may break down and make the whole deal, using the crock pot with a liner in it, so I won’t have the heavy crock to wash up, just a light going over with a cloth when it’s all finished. Guess the idea of all the leftovers, first the Rubens, and now the soup, are just too good to pass on. Gaining strength in the shoulder, and able to use it more, just no pressure on it yet, but I can use it as a helper hand now, so I think this comes under the heading of “must make now”.

  2. This sounds so interesting. I’m going to make at least a small version with leftovers from the Reubens we always have on St. Patrick’s day.

    • This recipe doesn’t make a whole lot. I only had a very small amount of corned beef left after making reubens so this was a perfect way to get “one last fix” before all the corned beef was gone! Let me know what you think!

  3. Jess, I love Rubens so I am sure going to love this! I will definitely have to make it on the next storm, cold day! Looks Yummy! I think the only thing I would change is the type of bread you use. I think I would you a hearty Rye! Thanks for posting these Fantastic Recipes!

  4. I just read the print out and see you did use Rye bread, but it looks pale in color, that’s why I thought it was not rye. I love the darker, more hearty rye breads, I also love the sesame seeded ones. Especially if it is freshly made! Anyway I will let you know how it goes over when I make this. I think Michael would love this too, although he is not a soup eater! 😉

  5. Pingback: Soupe à la Oignon – French Onion Soup | RecipeReminiscing·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s