We made a double batch of this wonderful potato soup on Sunday. I had both grandchildren of Marie Hodge present as taste testers to confirm the authenticity of the recipe.
Back in 2001, I contacted my then living grandmother, Doris Andrea, for recipes and stories to be included in a local church anniversary cookbook. This was one of the recipes she provided me. The story she told me to accompany this soup hailed back to the hard days of the Great Depression and making simple hearty meals that stretched ingredients.
Addendum (updated 8:15 am 11/09/2015): Some specifics on the double batch version of this recipe we created in my kitchen yesterday morning include using two 3-pound bags of organic russet potatoes, about half of an organic yellow onion and a few stalks of organic celery. The rest of the ingredients, with the exception of the bacon, were non-organic. Instead of a quart of milk, we used a quart of half-and-half (store brand).
The bacon was an uncured natural version from Farmland. To bake bacon in the oven, cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil (makes cleanup easy) and place the strips of bacon so they just barely touch. I can usually get an entire 12 ounce package of bacon on my largest baking sheet. Place the sheet in a cold oven and set the temperature for 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Set the timer for 20 minutes and check the doneness of the bacon when it dings, adding more time if you want it more done and/or crispier.
In 1913 fifteen-year-old Marie Kiesler immigrated to the United States from Stalluponen, (East Prussia) Germany (now Nesterov, Russia). She joined her sister Martha in Kansas City, Kansas, where both served as housekeepers/nannies to American families. In 1919 Marie married John H. Hodge, a soldier at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Marie returned once to visit her family in 1937, whence she got in trouble for refusing to display the Nazi salute. Marie died in 1949.
This simple soup uses readily available materials. Follow the directions exactly or it won’t have that authentic German taste.
6 slices bacon
½ c. chopped celery
½ c. chopped onion
8 medium potatoes, cubed
1 qt. milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. bacon grease
Fry bacon until crisp; drain. Crumble when cool. Save bacon grease.
Cook celery and onions in large pot (in which soup will…
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