Created by WhatamIgonnaeatnext? on February 5, 2020
Step 1: First, cook the bacon and the leeks in a large pot on medium to high heat on the stove top. Stir occasionally for 6 to 8 minutes, until the fat is rendered and the leeks are softened. Remove everything to a plate.
Step 2: Next, place the spare ribs and 5 quarts of water into the pot. Let it come to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Skim the foam and the impurities from the surface, cooking for 50 to 55 minutes, until the meat is tender and falling off the bones. Place the ribs on a different plate. (If you want a clear soup, you can strain the broth into a cheesecloth lined sieve. Afterward, return the broth to the pot.)
Step 3: Add the carrots, cabbage, potatoes, onion, sauerkraut, caraway seeds, and bacon mixture. Bring everything to a simmer, then turn to medium-low and cover. Cook until vegetables are tender and can be pierced with a knife, 22 to 25 minutes.
Step 4: While this is cooking, slice the ribs, pulling the meat from the bones. Cut off the cartilage, discarding it. Cut the meat into bite sized pieces and stir it back into the pot. Simmer long enough to let the meat warm. Season everything with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 5: Serve with dill, sour cream, bread, and butter if desired.