Last Updated on 4 years by Tim
Today’s recipe is a classic. If you’re living somewhere in the Western hemisphere I’m sure you’ve eaten chunky potato soup before. It’s a quick, cheap, and comforting dish that is primarily prepared at home.
In restaurants, potato soup will most often be served as an entree before the main course. But at home, it is the one and only main dish. It contains all the elements of a great meal. Filling potatoes, nutrient-rich vegetables, as well as some protein from the sausage.
Chunky potato soup is a one-pot meal that can be prepared much quicker than for example the Swabian beef spaetzle soup (‘Gaisburger Marsch’). The only thing you should have on hand is homemade chicken or vegetable broth. I recommend to always cook the broth yourself as store-bought isn’t really a proper substitute.
This was one of the first recipes published on my blog so that it deserved an update. I now specify to use celeriac instead of celery stalks and leave out the paprika powder for seasoning. Other than that, it’s still identical to the original recipe.
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These vegetables go into my chunky potato soup
To make the soup extra creamy, I recommend you to use starchy potatoes. During cooking, they will release some of their starch into the cooking water, which will slightly thicken the soup and give it a full-bodied mouthfeel. If you’re using waxy potatoes you could add a tiny touch of potato starch at the end to receive the same result. But be cautious when adding in additional starch, as you don’t want your soup to turn into a thick glue.
Make sure to dissolve the potato starch in some water before adding it into the soup to prevent it from turning lumpy. However, the added heavy cream will give the soup a great mouthfeel and texture anyways. So if you’re like me and prefer your soups and sauces on the thinner side, leave out the extra starch.
The choice of vegetables for this dish is nothing out of the ordinary. Leeks, garlic, carrots, celeriac, and green beans. They’re called soup vegetables (‘Suppengemüse’) in Germany for a good reason. They are cheap, aromatic, and harmonize with almost any other flavor.
The history of the Vienna sausage
The sausage primarily used to complement vegetarian stews and soups in Germany is the Vienna sausage. In Germany, it is known as ‘Wiener Würstchen’ or, in the Southern states, as ‘Saitenwürstchen’. Despite its name, the Vienna sausage was invented in the German city of Frankfurt by a Swiss butcher. After finishing his apprenticeship in Frankfurt, Johann Georg Lahner opened his own butcher shop in Vienna, where he started selling the sausage he learned to make during his time in Frankfurt.
Lahner originally sold it as ‘Frankfurter sausage’, which quickly became a well-known delicacy all over Vienna. In Austria, they are still called Frankfurter sausage, whereas the Germans renamed them into Vienna sausage. If you have problems sourcing Vienna sausage, you can substitute North American hot dog or Frankfurter sausage.
Vienna sausages are lightly smoked and parboiled. The filling is a mixture of pork and beef that is encased in a thin edible sheep’s intestine. To serve, it just needs to be warmed through in hot, but not boiling water. The sausage will burst open otherwise.
For this soup, I cut the sausages into 1/2-inch thick slices, so that they can be cooked briefly in the lightly simmering broth. If you plan on serving the sausages whole (which is also very common in Germany), bring some water to a boil, turn off the heat, add the sausages and let them warm through for five minutes before serving.