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.
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.
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
- waxy potatoes ~ thin skinned and firm, like Yukon gold
- 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.
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.
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.
Soup for dinner!
- Italian White Bean Soup with Sausage Meatballs
- Italian Minestrone Soup
- Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Soup
- Finnish Salmon Soup
- Dill Pickle and Brat Soup
- Beef Barley Soup
German Potato Soup with Sausage
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the potatoes, cabbage, and all 4 cups of the stock to the pan, along with the bay leaves, salt, pepper, and marjoram.
- 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.
- Taste to adjust the seasonings and serve hot with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley.
notes and variations
- 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.