German Sausage and Barley Soup (Graupensuppe)

Fall is finally here woohooo! I am beyond excited for cozy soups, stews and casseroles. I’ve been researching for a delicious sausage recipe in honor of Oktoberfest, and came across this excellent soup on It’s a bit cooler in Southern Cali this week so I jumped on the opportunity! I just adjusted a bit by adding in kale for some extra vitamins and crumbled in the crispy bacon at the end. My family absolutely loved it…so tasty and hearty, yet still light. Enjoy this on a nice cozy night this Fall!


Health tips: Low fat, heart healthy, diabetes friendly. anti-inflammatory, low carb

Ingredients (6-8 servings)

  • 4 slices of uncooked low-sodium bacon or 10 slices of thinner precooked bacon (Tip: Precooked bacon is low in sodium)
  • 1 package (14 oz.) Hillshire Farms Polska Kielbasa sausage
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, if needed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup (2 leeks) leeks, chopped (white and light green parts only)
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped (about 2 small carrots)
  • ½ cup celery, chopped (about 1 stalk of celery)
  • 1 cup russet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Sodium-free Mrs. Dash seasoning, to taste
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 2 cups kale, hard stems cut out and leaves chopped
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish
  • Fresh french bread with butter, preferrably wheat (optional)


  1. In a large dutch oven or soup pot, cook the bacon over medium heat, until browned and crisp. Crumble and set aside.
  2. Cut the sausage into 4 big chunks and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. If necessary, add olive oil and butter. (If you use uncooked bacon, you might also have to remove some of the bacon fat, if it’s too much or if it looks burnt).
  4. Lower the heat to medium and sauté the onions until translucent, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the leeks, carrots, celery and the potatoes and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the barley and let it cook with the veggies for a minute, stirring constantly.
  7. Season with salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash, oregano, paprika and nutmeg.
  8. Add back the sausage and chicken broth, and bring to a boil.
  9. Once it boils, lower the heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the barley and the potatoes are cooked.
  10. Remove the sausage chunks and slice thinly.
  11. Add in kale and crumbled bacon right before serving. Heat through for a couple minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
  12. Serve hot and garnish with sliced sausage and chopped parsley. Enjoy with some fresh french bread and butter!





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