Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Kartoffelsuppe : German Potato Soup

Happy new year everyone! Hope your hang-over has subsided and that you are looking forward to the new year as much as I am.  I've got some exciting things planned for the blog this year, starting with today's recipe.

It's often hard for me to come up with inspiration for soups - either using whatever is at hand, or when that elusive soupy muse strikes.  The easiest inspiration is when someone else suggests it, but where could I find a willing source of people around the world to tell me what kind of soups they like?

I happened to stumble across a website called Post Crossing, which is a postcard exchange site (And if you are looking for something to do in the new year, you could do worse than sign up - it's fun getting snail mail from all over the planet!)  Anyway, I set up a profile and asked for people who were sending me a postcard to include their favourite soup recipe from their home country.  And today's soup is the first result - a humble but hearty potato soup recipe from Germany. 

I used nice waxy potatoes, and was quite happy with the consistency - potato soups can have a tendency to get quite thick and glue-y.  If yours is going that way, add a bit more stock after blending.  Also, substituting some sausage for the bacon would work brilliantly.  So thanks to donnerkugel from Germany via Postcrossing for suggesting it!

750g Potatoes
1 Large Onion
1 Carrot
150g Smoked Bacon
1.2l Beef Stock
200ml Sour Cream
1tsp Thyme
Grated Nutmeg
20g Butter

1.  Heat up the butter in a soup pan.  Fry the cubed bacon until it browns.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and set aside

2.  Thinly slice the onion. Fry them in the butter and bacon fat until they start to go golden.

3. Peel and cube the onions and carrots.  Add these to the onions in the pan, along with the thyme and nutmeg.  Allow them to cook for 4-5 minutes in the butter along with the onions, until they start to colour slightly.

4.  Add the stock to the pan, bring to the boil, cover and then simmer for 40 minutes, until the potatoes are just starting to break up.  Take the pan off the heat and leave to stand for 15 minutes.

5.  Using a stick blender, blend 2/3 of the soup and then return to the pan, stirring well.  You could alternatively use a potato masher to break up the vegetables - or use a mixture of the two.  As long as you don't have too many large chunks of vegetable floating round in the pan.

6.  Return the pan to the heat, adjusting seasoning, and heat through.  Just before serving, stir in the sour cream.  Ladle into heated bowls and garnish with the bacon that you set aside earlier.  (I warmed my bacon through under a hot grill for a few minutes before serving too)  Enjoy!

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