This Kartoffel Suppe (Potato Soup) recipe is from a ‘Cooking with Beer’ class I taught at Ramekins Culinary Center located in Sonoma, CA: Celebrating Oktoberfest with Beer Cuisine. As this class was focused on German Beers and the Oktoberfest beer holiday, I changed how I would normally craft a menu, pairing the dish with beer verses what I did here, where the beer is to focal point, and the beer pairing was key to helping the students learn about the beer style, introducing the flavors to them to German Beer Cuisine through the beer.
Trumer Brewery is a unique brewery, as they only have one bottled beer, their German style Pils or Pilsner. This beautiful example of crisp, perfectly balanced hop to malt brew is very tricky to make. As this 4.8% German lager is made with pilsner malt, noble German hops, yeast and water, there is nothing to hide behind. Upholding the “Reinheitsgebot” or German purity law, this brew and others can only contain, malt | hops | yeast | water.
As the German Pilsner is so clean, so crisp, so refreshing, I wanted to pair it with a counterpoint, smoke. One of my favorite cooking beers is a rauchbier style. These smoked beers are layered with smoke, adding depth and that cooking over fire nostalgia, yet in a glass of lager. Rauchbier is a wonderful beer to have in your Beer Kitchen. Cooking with Beer for this recipe highlights that smoke, with smoked bacon, caramelized onions, leeks, carrots and garlic with potatoes and some stock. It is thickened with a roux and a wonderful version of a Kartoffel Suppe (Potato Soup). Try this recipe for an Oktoberfest celebration or on almost any cool fall | autumn evening to warm your soul.
Paired with a Kartoffel Suppe (Potato Soup) infused with smoked bacon and Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock
Serves: 8 as an appetizer or 4 guests as an entrée
Kartoffel Suppe (Potato Soup)
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Kartoffel Suppe (Potato Soup): a German Potato Soup Infused With Smoked Bacon and Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock
In a Dutch oven or pot over medium heat, add the bacon and render out the fat, crisping the cured meat, about 6 – 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the cooked bacon and set aside in a bowl for garnishing the finish soup.
Add the onions, leeks, celery, carrots with the bay leaf and sauté for 6 - 7 more minutes, until the onions start to caramelize slightly. Add in the garlic and marjoram and cook for another minute. Stir in the flour and make a roux, cooking for 2 – 3 minutes more. Lightly season with salt. Add the potatoes and deglaze the pot with the Rauchbier, scraping any fond from the bottom with the spoon/spatula. Add the stock and bring the soup to a simmer. Cook the soup until the potatoes and vegetables are tender, about 20 – 25 minutes. Taste the soup and adjust seasonings.
This soup may be served as is, making it more of a vegetable soup, adding in the parsley at the last minute to keep the color and dividing the remaining bacon as a garnish to each bowl. Or the soup may be puréed to make a creamy version, then garnished with the crisp bacon, parsley and cracked pepper.