German Potato Soup (Kartoffelsuppe)

This authentic and hearty recipe for nourishing German potato soup (Kartoffelsuppe) is full of root vegetables, bone broth, and smoky bacon. It is a delicious and comforting soup that the whole family will love.

A bowl full of chunky, creamy German potato soup with lots of veggies and bacon.

German potato soup, or kartoffelsuppe, is one of the most popular soups in Germany and many variations exist.

This flavorful potato soup can be made more brothy, or creamy, as you prefer. I’ll give you the basic instructions for both.

What makes this potato soup distinctly German is the addition of the classic suppengrün ingredients and the smoky bacon which makes up so much of traditional German cuisine.

Try more of my German soup recipes, like German sauerkraut soup or liver dumpling soup. And if you love German food, check out my recipes for rotkohl and spaetzle, too.

Ingredient Notes, Variations, & Substitutions

The quantities of each ingredient are listed in the printable recipe card; this section will help you make the best authentic German potato soup with what you have.

All of the ingredients needed to make German potato soup or kartoffelsuppe.
  • Suppengrün | The German soup trinity of carrots, leeks, and celeriac is the base to most soups, sauces, and marinades. You can use celery or lovage instead of celeriac; about 2-3 ribs of either will suffice.
  • Onions | Yellow onions work best; you can omit them as we’re using leeks, but I like to add an onion regardless.
  • Parsley | Parsley is another essential ingredient here and it will be used as part of the cooking process to impart flavor and then again att he end as a garnish.
  • Bacon | Bacon is a quintessential component of a hearty, authentic German potato soup. I would not omit this, but if you must try and use sausage instead or smoked dried pork parts like ribs or hocks — adjust cooking time accordingly if using the latter which require a couple hours of cooking time to soften.
  • Bone Broth or Stock | I’m using homemade chicken bone broth, but beef, chicken feet, vegetable, Etc. also work. You will want to add a stock cube if you’re using water.
  • Cream | Optional. Heavy cream or sour cream works. I prefer sour cream, which can either be added to the soup slowly as it simmers or served at the end on top of the soup in bowls.
  • Herbs, Spices, & Seasoning | Salt & pepper to taste, a bay leaf, fresh rosemary and thyme, and dried marjoram. You can substitute with 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of dried instead if you prefer. Tomato paste adds a depth of flavor, and garlic adds another delicious element here too.

Instructions (Step-by-Step With Photos)

Diced and chopped onions, leek, garlic, and carrots on wood cutting board.

Diced potatoes on wooden cutting board.

Diced celeriac on wooden cutting board.

Step 1: Wash all of the vegetables — leeks can be particularly dirty, so pay attention to them. Scrub and peel the celeriac.

Prep the vegetables by dicing the celeriac, carrots, and onions small. Slice the leek into thin rings. Mince the garlic. Dice the bacon.

Diced bacon rendering in big black pot.

Step 2: Render the bacon over low-medium heat until it is halfway done.

Bacon, onions, and garlic in pot.

Step 3: Add the onion when the bacon is half cooked and cook until the onion is golden, 6-8 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Add the tomato paste and cook until not bright red and raw.

All the other vegetables fully submerged in pot and covered with bone broth.

Step 4: Add the rest of the vegetables, the potatoes, carrots, and celeriac.

Cover with bone broth or stock (or water and bouillon cubes), and add the remaining herbs and spices: a pinch of salt and pepper, the bay leaf, the dried marjoram, the fresh rosemary, and thyme.

Bring to a boil, then quickly reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes.

Check halfway through for doneness and adjust salt and pepper.

A wooden spoon takes out a ladle of soup.

Step 5: Once the potatoes are tender, check and adjust for salt and pepper again. Now add the fresh parsley and the heavy cream if using.

If using sour cream, put the sour cream into a bowl and temper it by slowly pouring a full soup ladle of soup broth into the sour cream as you whisk with a fork the entire time.

This is to temper the sour cream so that it does not break.

It is now safe to add the sour cream directly back into the simmering soup pot and let it simmer for 5 more minutes on low, uncovered.

If you are not using sour cream or heavy cream, disregard these instructions obviously.

A bowl full of chunky, creamy German potato soup with lots of veggies and bacon.

Step 6: Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with more parsley. Sere hot with your favorite sourdough bread.

Hint: Serving this soup with a big dollop of sour cream is another delicious way to enjoy it. Have you noticed that sour cream makes its appearance in a lot of Central European cuisine regardless of country?

A bowl full of chunky, creamy German potato soup with lots of veggies and bacon.

FAQ

How To Store, Freeze, & Reheat German Potato Soup

This soup will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator and should be stored in a covered container. Reheat it gently on the stovetop over low heat, and add a splash of water or stock to the pot if necessary.

It will last up to 3 months in the freezer. Let it thaw in the refrigerator, and then gently reheat it.

Can I Purée This Soup?

Yes! Use an immersion blender and blend the soup to your desired consistency.

What Else Can I Add To This Potato Soup?

Some other additions you may love: smoked dried pork ribs or hocks, leftover ham, canned beans or dried beans, sauerkraut, or cabbage.

What Are Some Other Traditional German Recipes?

I love German cuisine! Some of my favorite German recipes you can find right on the blog are: German Sauerkraut Soup, German Liver Dumpling Soup, German Braised Red Cabbage (Rotkohl), Spaetzle, Käsespätzle (German Cheese Spaetzle). I’m adding new German recipes constantly, so sign up for my newsletter at the bottom of this page if you want occasional updates.

Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:

A bowl full of chunky, creamy German potato soup with lots of veggies and bacon.

German Potato Soup (Kartoffelsuppe)

This authentic and hearty soup is full of root vegetables, bone broth, and smoky bacon. It is a delicious and comforting soup that the whole family will love.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: German
Servings: 4
Calories: 458kcal
Author: Jana Dziak

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Potatoes chopped small. Russets are my favorite for soup. 2 lbs is about 6 medium russets or about 7 cups. Don't worry too much as you can more or less potatoes and the soup will still work.
  • 1 Cup Bacon Diced
  • 1 Large Onion Diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1 Large Leek Sliced into thin rings
  • 3 Medium Carrots Diced
  • 1 ½ Cup Diced Celeriac Root Or two ribs of celery or lovage instead
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 6 Cups Chicken Bone Broth or Stock
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream (Optional) Or sour cream
  • 3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme Or 1/2 – 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary Or 1/2 – 1 teaspoon dried
  • ½ Teaspoon Dried Marjoram
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • ½ Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley Divided
  • Salt + Pepper To Taste

Instructions

  • Wash all of the vegetables — leeks can be particularly dirty, so pay attention to them. Scrub and peel the celeriac. Prep the vegetables by dicing the celeriac, carrots, and onions small. Slice the leek into thin rings. Mince the garlic. Dice the bacon.
  • Render the bacon over low-medium heat until it is halfway done.
  • Add the onion when the bacon is half cooked and cook until the onion is golden, 6-8 minutes.  
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste and cook until not bright red and raw.
  • Add the rest of the vegetables, the potatoes, carrots, and celeriac.
  • Cover with bone broth or stock (or water and bouillon cubes), and add the remaining herbs and spices: a pinch of salt and pepper, the bay leaf, the dried marjoram, the fresh rosemary, and thyme.
  • Bring to a boil, then quickly reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Check halfway through for doneness and adjust salt and pepper.
  • Once the potatoes are tender, check and adjust for salt and pepper again. Now add the fresh parsley and the heavy cream if using. If using sour cream instead, read the next step. If not using either, skip these steps entirely.
  • To add sour cream if using: put the sour cream into a bowl and temper it by slowly pouring a full soup ladle of soup broth into the sour cream as you whisk with a fork the entire time. It is now safe to add the sour cream directly back into the simmering soup pot and let it simmer for 5 more minutes on low, uncovered.
  • Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with more parsley. Sere hot with your favorite sourdough bread.

Notes

This soup will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator and should be stored in a covered container. Reheat it gently on the stovetop over low heat, and add a splash of water or stock to the pot if necessary.
It will last up to 3 months in the freezer. Let it thaw in the refrigerator, and then gently reheat it.

Nutrition

Calories: 458kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 1039mg | Potassium: 1008mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 8779IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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