Friday, April 16, 2010

German Potato Soup

I'm sitting here typing this as the fantastic smell of German Potato Soup is wafting down the stairs and making me wish is was dinner time right NOW! I am not posting a picture of it because it's not very attractive (most soups aren't). But believe me, it's AWESOME. If you leave out the bacon and use vegetable broth rather than beef broth, it is Kosher-friendly and vegetarian. The caraway seeds, nutmeg, and sour cream are the key ingredients. Mmmmmm....

Even though this recipe seems idiot-proof, I still managed to mess it up the first time I made it. It wasn't 100% my fault, though! I found the original recipe in "Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes", and my first attempt at cooking this soup uncovered a glaring typo in the book-- it called for 2 teaspoons of black pepper. Being the dutiful and very inexperienced non-chef that I am, I followed that recipe to a T, and we ended up with a soup that made my lips and tongue burn for hours afterward. Looking at the typical proportions of pepper to salt in other soup recipes, I figured out that the author most likely meant to type "1/2" rather than "2". The other goof I did was that I didn't know you're supposed to use the white part of the leek-- not the green part. We actually googled leeks and made sure that it wouldn't kill us to eat the green part. Luckily, the pepper problem WAY overshadowed the leek problem, and the soup still tasted good enough for us to want to make it again.

There seems to be a lot of chopping involved when you first read the recipe, but it goes really quickly (it takes maybe 20 minutes). I do all of the chopping while I cook the bacon; even though you don't add the bacon until right before you serve the soup, I like to get all of the cooking done at the same time.

So, here is the recipe that I adapted from the original printed recipe:

1 pound potatoes, diced (I leave the skins on)
4 cups beef broth
1 small onion, chopped
1 leek (the white part!!), trimmed and diced
2 carrots, diced
1 1/2 cups chopped cabbage
1/4 cup chopped parsley (or 2 tsp dried parsley)
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
a little less than 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup sour cream
1 pound bacon, cooked until very crispy and diced

Optional ingredient: celery (I think everything is better with celery.)

Combine all ingredients except the sour cream and bacon in crock pot. Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours or High for 4 to 5 hours. Remove and discard bay leaf. Stir in bacon pieces and sour cream. Serve and prepare to LOVE IT. Makes 4 servings (and any leftovers are fabulous for days afterwards).


  1. HOW DO WE SHARE THE SAME DNA?!?!?! I can't think of anything I would like to eat less than potato soup. Except maybe just straight up potatoes.

  2. Erin, I am making this this week! Can't wait!!!!! MMMMMMMMM potatoes!!!! My first time with a leek . . . ;)

  3. Woo hoo! Good luck, Joslyne! Call me if you have any questions, but as long as you use the white part of the leek, you're golden. Ha!

  4. Oh, and Joslyne-- Andrew and I have been experimenting with the types of potatoes to go in this soup, and we like either red potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes rather than the big russet potatoes.

  5. Crap. I bought organic russet potatoes this morning. But maybe that will be OK for the first time. And, embarrassingly, I had to ask a Whole Foods employee to identify a leek for me. He almost kept a straight face . . .