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The Recipe Box Project

Recipe for German Westphalian potato and bacon soup

Serves 4

Winchester resident Robert M. Bransford spent the early 1990s as a social worker for the US Army, where he was stationed near Frankfurt. He found this warming pot in the book “Culinary Excursions Through Germany” by Wolfgang Reichert. “This soup became my go-to dish on a brisk autumn or winter day,” he tells us. The liquid is first used to simmer potatoes and caraway seeds, then onions sauteed in the bacon fat add a smoky note. Bransford suggests using thick sliced bacon. Whisk in sour cream at the end.

3cups water
2large russet (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½-inch chunks
Salt and pepper, to taste
½teaspoon caraway seeds
8slices bacon, cut into ¼-inch pieces
tablespoons butter
1large onion, coarsely chopped
2tablespoons flour
cup sour cream
1cup chopped fresh parsley

1. In a soup pot, combine the water, potatoes, salt, and caraway seeds. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cover the pot. Simmer for 8 minutes, or until potatoes are almost done.

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2. Set a colander over a bowl and strain potatoes into it, reserving the liquid. Wipe out the pot.

3. Add the bacon to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Lower the heat and continue cooking the bacon until it is crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pot.

4. Add the butter to the pot. When it melts, add the onion, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes, or until the onion begins to brown. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes; take care that the mixture does not burn.

5. Add the potato cooking water. Bring to a boil and add potatoes. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 5 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

6. Add the bacon. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the sour cream and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper, if you like. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with dark German bread. Robert M. Bransford. Adapted from “Culinary Excursions Through Germany” by Wolfgang Reichert

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