This German potato soup is far greater than the sum of its parts. The potatoes are cooked with a selection of other winter veg that give the dish a wonderful depth of flavour. The carrots, celeriac, leek and parsley are available in Germany in prepared bundles known as Suppengrün or Suppengemüse (soup greens, or soup vegetables), and are used as a base for all sorts of soups and stews.
The vegetables are made rich with the addition a little cream, and the dish is finished off with a Wienerwürstchen, warmed through in water and sliced. Wieners in the UK have a rather bad reputation; they’re usually suspiciously straight and sweaty-looking, and they don’t tend to taste of much. Proper German Wieners, on the other hand, can be excellent, so buy the best you can get your hands on, ideally from your butcher, and if you can’t find good ones outside Germany, you might prefer to not use them at all. The soup is just as filling and moreish without the sausage, and if you swap the beef stock for veg, you’ll have an excellent vegetarian soup instead.
German Potato Soup | serves 4-6
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 large carrots (approximately 200g), roughly chopped
1 small chunk of celeriac (approximately 150g), peeled and roughly chopped
1 small leek, dark green part discarded; white part washed thoroughly, halved and chopped
600g floury potatoes (mehligkochend), chopped roughly into 2cm pieces
1.25 l stock (beef or vegetable)
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
Freshly ground nutmeg
100ml cream (optional)
4-6 Wiener sausages (1 per person)
Fresh parsley, chopped, to garnish
Melt the butter in a large, heavy pot and add the onions. Cook on a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until translucent and turning golden brown. Add the carrots and celeriac, stir to mix with the onion and coat with the butter, and sweat for 2 minutes. Tip in the leek and potato, mix with the other vegetables, and then add the stock, bay leaf, a good grating of nutmeg and some salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover and leave to simmer for 25 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft (try crushing a bit of carrot against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon).
Remove the bay leaf and purée the soup with a stick blender. I like mine smooth, but you can keep chunky if you prefer. Pour in the cream if you’re using it, stir, and check for seasoning.
For the sausages, bring a pot of water to the boil, turn it off and lower them in. Leave to warm through for 5 minutes, then remove and once they’re cool enough to touch, slice into 5mm-1cm thick pieces. (You can alternatively add the sausages to the soup whole to warm through and serve them as is, but it’s hard work chopping them up with a spoon in a bowl without getting soup everywhere.)
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the sausage pieces and parsley. Guten Appetit!