Welcome to the first ever Germany Food Month (#MarchGermany on Facebook/Instagram)!
Don’t take this the wrong way, but when I think German food I think of this scene from Hogan’s Heroes. (I’m referring to the first nine seconds, or so, of this clip. But I highly recommend the show if you’d like a few laughs!)
I love that show! (If you can’t see the clip let me know and I’ll try to find it again on YouTube!)
Hahaha, call me an old-timer, but I love that show. So many good laughs. Anyway, as you might have gathered from watching the video German potato soup is the first thing mentioned. And, I see it as an excellent way to start this new month!
Now I’ve always viewed potato soup with somewhat of a condescending eye. As a youth, I rarely came across a soup with potatoes that I enjoyed. But then I grew up and began respecting soups like Clam Chowder, and now a gold ol’ fashioned bowl of German potato soup really puts my soul in the right place 🙂
The first time I had potato soup (and enjoyed it), I noticed many similarities to your average chowder soup. (I mean if you directly compare German potato soup to clam chowder then you come to realize that there really aren’t that many differences. The main difference being the clam.) It’s the creamy potato flavor that first made me fall in love with the soup. Now, I can whip a bowl or two of this up in practically no time at all. (Thank goodness too! You don’t have much time while working full-time, are in school, and are trying to both socialize and keep up with those great baking hobbies: e.g. this blog!) I do wonder if kartoffelsuppe (the not-so-fancy German word for potato soup) and clam chowder have similar origins. I mean if we look at Wikipedia we see that clam chowder comes from Massachusetts in the United States. However, if I remember my American history then Germans were early settlers in that region. We’ll have to do some more research to tell. Until then, we’ll sit back and enjoy a nice mug of kartoffelsuppe!
With that let’s get cracking! In just over an hour you’ll be able to sit as comfortably as I (possibly with a cup of potato soup next to your computer as you type) with this wonderful soup!
German Potato Soup
The first thing to do, as always, is pull out our ingredients. For this potato soup, you’ll be using the following:
- 30 grams (~2 tablespoons) of butter
- 1 large onion, (or two spring onions) diced
- 2 strips of thick cut bacon
- 1 carrot (diced)
- 1 small leek (sliced)
- 1 small stalk of celery (diced)
- 1 gram (1 teaspoon) of dried marjoram
- Salt and pepper
- 3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 liter (1 quart + ~3 tablespoons) chicken stock
- 480 milliliters (2 cups) of whole milk (or 1 c heavy cream)
- Fresh parsley (for the garnish)
At first glance, the order of all of those ingredients might blow your mind. But I promise you that it will make sense in a few moments, so hold tight!!
Before we actually make the soup, we need to prepare the base. We want a nice savory flavor. With that in mind, we must first cook the bacon. So place a pot on the stove and crank up the temperature to high. (You could use a pan, but if you start with a pot you’ll have a lot less to clean up afterward! Believe me on that one!!) As the pan heats up, plop in the butter and wait until it melts. Then add the bacon, cook until crisp but not burnt. We want to keep as much as the bacon fat as possible. It will give the potato soup a lot of character.
Once the bacon has finished cooking, remove it and set aside. Now, inside the same pan, toss in the onion. We want to sauté the onion until it becomes fully translucent. Don’t burn it though! We don’t want that much character (or that kind of character at all)! Just when the onions become translucent, add the carrot, leek, celery, marjoram, and salt and pepper. If you’ve had the same experience as myself, then you’ll find that the salt will have vanished by the end. So don’t worry too much. Add some now and then you can add more salt when the potato soup is ready.
With the base prepared, we can move on to the potatoes. Add the potatoes to the pot and let them brown. When they have browned (but haven’t burned) add the broth. Bring the soup to a slow boil and cook until the potatoes are soft. This will take about 15 minutes.
Now comes the fun part. using an immersion blender or a food processor, start puréeing the soup. You want to avoid completely blending the soup. I like to have a little bit (maybe a chunk or two of potato) and so I only purée about 90% of the soup. (I love KitchenAid’s immersion blender. So useful 🙂 ) But however much you choose to purée the potato soup, do it.
Ok! We’re almost done! Now you just need to add the milk to the pot. You can even use heavy cream if you want a creamier flavor. But personally, whole milk does an excellent job! Add the milk, and let the potato soup simmer for a few minutes. We want the flavors to merge together into one happy soup.
Now that we are at the end it’s time to repurpose the bacon. Break them into small pieces and stir them into the soup. Mmmmm! Even more bacon flavor! When you serve it, serve it, top it with a garnish of parsley and serve it with a few slices of frankfurters. This dish goes wonderfully well together!
I know you’ll love it as much as I do!
Let me know what you think!