by Eric Wharton
My Recipe Book, constantly being added to
The Pennsylvania Dutch developed soup making to such a high art that complete cookbooks could be written about their soups alone: there was an appropriate soup for every day of the year, including a variety of hot and cold fruit soups.
— William Woys Weaver, Sauerkraut Yankees
While no one knows for certain which culture can claim fame to inventing potato soup, it was most certainly a staple in Germany by the time of the American Revolution. Its introduction to North America can be attributed to a Frenchman named Antoine Parmentier.
An apprentice pharmacist, Parmentier served as a soldier during the Seven Years War between France and Germany during the mid-1700s. As a German prisoner of war, he was forced to subsist on potatoes. In later years, he reportedly introduced potato soup and other potato dishes to the general population.
It took a long time for the lowly potato to become a staple of American diet. As recently as 1850 most Americans considered the potato to be animal food. A farmer's manual dating back to the mid-1800s recommended that potatoes should be grown near the pigpens so the pigs could be fed more easily.
4 medium potatoes
1/4 medium onion, diced
3 cup milk
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp parsley flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Cook potatoes ahead if time, peel, and cube when cool.
Sauté onions in butter, add flour and blend. Add milk, salt, and parsley and cook until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Add cooked potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes.
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