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Friday, April 22, 2011

Rita's Recipes: Potato Soup

Article first published as Rita's Recipes: Potato Soup on Blogcritics.

{© Rita Daue, c. 1942}
When my husband's grandmother passed away a few years ago, I had the good fortune of inheriting her cookbooks. While the majority of them were either commercial printings or collections of clippings, one was a hand-written journal from 1940s Germany. It was a Christmas gift, given to her in 1935, and she began recording her favorite meals in 1942.

With my husband's help, I'm translating her recipes from German to English. With a little trial and error, I'm updating her methods and adjusting the ingredients to those that might be found in a typical American kitchen.

Rita's Potato Soup is a rich, thick dish perfect for cold, dreary days. Pair with sausage and bread for a true German experience!

Rita's Potato Soup
Serves 4-5 people

4-6 strips of bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
8 cups water
3-4 Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups water*
3 beef bouillon cubes*
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish

*You may substitute 3 cups beef broth or beef stock

1. In a medium saucepan, cook the bacon. Drain on paper towels and crumble. Set aside.
2. In the same saucepan, cook the onions and celery until tender. Remove from the pan and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, bring 8 cups of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil until the flesh is easily pierced with a knife. Drain.
4. In the saucepan, bring the 3 cups of water to a boil. Add beef bouillon cubes and stir until dissolved. If using beef broth, skip this step. If using beef stock, boil the stock before use.
5. Puree cooked potatoes with onion and celery in a food processor or blender, adding the beef broth as necessary. Work in batches to prevent clumping.
6. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with crumbled bacon and parsley. Serve hot.


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