German Potato Soup (Kartoffelsuppe) with Bratwurst

German Potato Soup ~ Kartoffelsuppe

German Potato Soup with Bratwurst is an easy comforting recipe to add to your soup rotation this fall. It takes just 30 minutes to cook, and celebrates German cuisine, even if you can’t get to Oktoberfest.

German potato soup in white mug with spoon and napkin

Expand your soup repertoire with German potato soup (Kartoffelsuppe)

The annual Oktoberfest may have been canceled this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate our own mini-fests, at home. This German soup is comforting, hearty (hello potatoes and brats) and perfect for the month of October. It offers up a new flavor profile and makes a nice change from the same old chicken or vegetable soup.

German food has a reputation for being heavy and fatty, but this soup is pretty light, with lots of veggies and not at all stodgy.

I’ll serve our soup with a rustic loaf of rye bread, or bake up some quick buckwheat biscuits or dinner rolls.

German potato soup with brats in white soup mugs

Grocery list for potato and sausage soup

  • bratwurst or other German sausage, uncooked (there are 1500 varieties in Germany!)
  • chicken stock ~ you can also use beef stock
  • olive oil
  • onions
  • carrots
  • celery
  • waxy potatoes ~ thin skinned and firm, like Yukon gold
  • cabbage 
  • bay leaves ~ don’t skip them, they really do make a difference.
  • marjoram ~ marjoram is often used in making German sausages, and it’s common in potato dishes as well. Oregano is often suggested as a substitute, but I think in this soup dill or thyme might be better.

bratwurst in chicken stock

Browning bratwurst sausage builds flavor into this easy potato soup

Browning the brats and then finishing their cooking in the broth gives this soup great flavor. The sausage makes this soup main course worthy. And this way, instead of a carb loaded bun, you can enjoy your brats in a bowl! (If you love brats, be sure to try my Sheet Pan Brats.)

What’s the difference between bratwurst and sausage?

  • Bratwurst is a type of fresh link sausage from Germany.
  • It’s made with pork and sometimes beef (veal.)
  • ‘Brat’ means finely chopped meat in German, and brats usually have a smoother texture than regular sausage.
  • Bratwurst can be seasoned with caraway, cardamom, nutmeg, coriander, pepper, ginger, and celery seeds. Also marjoram. This gives them a distinctly different flavor from other types of sausage.

German Potato Soup in a soup pot with mugs

Tips for quick prep

  • Cut your vegetables in small dice so they will cook quickly and evenly. I love to use my alligator chopper for this soup.
  • While the brats are simmering go ahead and sauté the veggies to get started on the soup.
  • Don’t over cook the vegetables, take a taste and stop cooking when they’re just tender. Then, if you’re not going to eat right away, they won’t get mushy.

German potato and sausage soup in mugs

Soup for dinner!

German Potato Soup ~ Kartoffelsuppe
5 from 13 votes

German Potato Soup with Sausage

German Potato Soup with Bratwurst is an easy comforting recipe to add to your soup rotation this fall. It takes just 30 minutes to cook, and celebrates German cuisine, even if you can't get to Octoberfest.
Course dinner
Cuisine German
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Yield 4 -6 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 2-3 bratwurst or other German sausage
  • olive oil
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 white waxy potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 head cabbage, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish


  • Put a drop of oil in a stock pot and brown off the sausages or brats. Let them get cook color on all sides, then add 2 cups of the chicken stock and bring up to a boil. Scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for about 10-12 minutes, until the brats are cooked. Remove the brats to a plate, and strain the broth and set aside. (I like to strain the broth because there will always be little bit and bobs floating around, and it's nicer without.) When the brats have cooled a bit, slice them.
    bratwurst in chicken stock
  • Meanwhile add a tablespoon of oil to a a new soup pot and saute the onions, celery, and carrots for about 4-5 minutes, just until slightly softened but not browned, stirring often.
    Aromatic vegetables in stock pot
  • Add the potatoes, cabbage, and all 4 cups of the stock to the pan, along with the bay leaves, salt, pepper, and marjoram.
    Making German potato soup in a stock pot
  • Bring up to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10-15 minutes, or until veggies are almost tender. Take a taste to be sure. Add the sliced brats and simmer for another 5 minutes until everything is perfectly tender.
    German Potato Soup in a white soup pot
  • Taste to adjust the seasonings and serve hot with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley.
    German potato soup with sausage

Cook's notes

  • Stir in some sour cream, off the heat, to the finished soup.
  • Season with caraway seeds.
  • Add a leek, trimmed, diced, and well rinsed.
  • Add peeled and diced celeriac or turnip.
  • Puree the finished soup to a creamy consistency before adding the sausage.
  • Brighten the flavor with a small touch of apple cider vinegar.
*recipe adapted from Ren Behan
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Sue W-C
    November 12, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    5 stars
    Easy to make, nutritious and delicious (even better tasting the 2nd day…if there is any left!)

  • Reply
    Sue Peery
    October 4, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    5 stars
    Five stars all the way! My DH asked me to put this soup into my regular meal rotation. I put in 4 brats, but he said even more would have been good. I loved chopping up all the veggies in this!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      October 4, 2021 at 3:47 pm

      Thanks Sue, glad it was a hit!

  • Reply
    July 11, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    why does it say 2-3 brats, when it shows 4 in the pic? confusing. not sure if i can really use 4 or not. i wanna make this today but need the info first. thank you if you can.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 11, 2021 at 1:14 pm

      I liked the soup with just 2-3 brats, if you want to use 4, it will be a heartier soup!

  • Reply
    Anne Stockwell
    March 29, 2021 at 10:56 am

    5 stars
    This soup is so good, even my mother-in-law loved it!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 29, 2021 at 11:22 am

      Score! 😉

    • Reply
      September 26, 2022 at 3:39 pm

      Do you think garlic would work well in this soup?

      • Reply
        Sue Moran
        September 26, 2022 at 3:41 pm

        I think that’s completely up to your and your taste, garlic goes in just about any soup, as far as I’m concerned!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2020 at 11:12 am

    5 stars
    Excellent! We loved it. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • Reply
    October 23, 2020 at 8:51 am

    5 stars
    This is really really good!

  • Reply
    James G Pancurak
    October 21, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    looks good ill have to try it

  • Reply
    October 21, 2020 at 5:11 pm

    5 stars
    Sue I made this lovely soup for the family tonight and everybody, even my picky teen, loved it! I think the brats made the difference 😉

  • Reply
    Nic D
    October 21, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    “‘Brat’ means finely chopped meat in German”??? Not sure where you got that from but as a German I can tell you that that’s wrong. Bratwurst translates to frying sausage, brat(en) means frying and wurst means sausage. The word brat has nothing to do with chopped meat, fine or otherwise. In Bavaria, where I’m from, we have lots of different types of frying sausages, both finely chopped and coarse.

    • Reply
      October 21, 2020 at 5:09 pm

      Brat translates to ‘chopped meat’ in Old High German, where the term bratwurst is supposed to have been derived from.

  • Reply
    October 21, 2020 at 11:03 am

    5 stars
    I will definitely make this recipe. Since moving to Wisconsin our brat appreciation has significantly expanded. Lately our favorite brat is available nationwide: Trader Joe’s Uncured Bavarian Bratwurst. Today’s package will soon be in this soup. Thanks Sue!

    • Reply
      October 21, 2020 at 11:12 am

      I had no idea Candace, when I finally do get back to shopping at TJs I’ll definitely check those out!!

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