I’m back! Done with my hiatus, settling into Pacific Northwest life again and missing Germany terribly. My husband and I had an amazing wedding. Even though I had a terrible cold that day, I’m only remembering the wedding and not how miserable my body felt. When the official wedding photos come in, I’ll thinking about posting one or two on the blog. I mean, it was in Germany, I wore a dirndl and we served German food, so that’s totally appropriate to theme of my blog, right?
I’m excited about sharing new information and inspiration for German recipes that I gathered while I was there. My first post to kick all this off is going to be a simple introduction to German soup vegetables, known as Suppengrün (soup greens) or Suppengemüse (soup vegetables). It’s the flavour foundation to huge variety of German dishes.
The German soup vegetables are carrots, leeks and celeriac (or celery root) and usually a bit of parsley. Though, it may also include parsley root, onion, rutabaga or thyme depending on the region. Think of it as Germany’s answer to France’s Mirepoix (onions, carrots and celery) or the Cajun cooking’s Holy Trinity (celery, green peppers, onions). It’s a simple vegetable base that is used specifically to impart a certain hearty flavour into clear broths, soups, sauces and marinades.
A friend of mine asked the other day if the German version really made a difference over any other version. Why yes, yes it does. Broths from different cultures not only taste different because of the spices and herbs added but also because of what they use as their simple vegetable foundation.
The interesting thing is that in Germany you can buy bundles of these soup veggies all ready to go at any grocery store or market. While you can certainly make your own bundles, it’s not going to break the bank if you buy them premade either. I saw them from 0.99 EUR Cents to 1.49 EUR, depending on the size of the bundle and where you were purchasing it. This is great if you don’t cook a lot and don’t want the extra that would come with buying all these vegetables separately.
Here, of course, we have to make our own bundles and that is what I’m going to show you.
Before I go any further, let me stop and address the celeriac in the room. We North Americans are usually unfamiliar with this gnarly looking root. It’s a variety of celery where the root has been cultivated over the stalks. You can eat the stalks, sure, but I wouldn’t bother. They’re usually pretty bitter. This turnip-like tuber can also be made into it’s own soup, grated into a salad, braised, mashed or eaten raw. It’s a good addition to a potato or turnip mash.
Back to all the soup vegetables.
German Soup Vegetables
(Suppengrün or Suppengemüse)
- Two large Carrots
- One small Leek
- One quarter of a Celeriac
- A small bunch of Parsley (usually curly leaf)
Thoroughly wash all your vegetables.
- For the carrots – peel and cut so they’re roughly the same length.
- For the leek – remove the darker green section and if needed, cut so it’s roughly the same length as the carrots.
- For the celeriac – remove the stalks and rooty bits and cut into quarters.
- For the parsley – just grab a handful as there’s no need to cut this.
My Mother will bundle the soup vegetables up into freezer bags to use them at a later date. She doesn’t bother chopping them up first, though you certain can if you want to save time later down the road. Using it fresh is always best but frozen is just so handy. The kitchen twine bundles here are just to look pretty and to give you an idea of what a bundle of soup vegetables looks like.
It depends on the recipe for exactly how you’ll end up using this base. Mostly, they’re coarsely chopped, sweated in oil and cooked along with a liquid until they’re soft and have imparted all of their flavour. If it’s a clear broth or consomme, they are usually removed at the end. Though, some home cooks will just keep them in the soup as there’s not point in wasting a little extra food. If it’s for a sauce, they might be browned in fat and cooked down until they’re incorporated into the sauce usually by pureeing or pressed through a sieve.
There. That’s my little introduction to German soup vegetables or Suppengrün. I will be referring back to this post a lot in future recipes. But then, that’s the whole point of posts like these.
Stay tuned the next few weeks as I bring you some creamy and very simple vegetable soup recipes I collected – Zucchini Soup, Tomato Soup and Potato Soup.
und Alles Liebe,
A nice side! 👍
Thank you I didn’t knew what a suppengrun was. I will try it if I can find it.thank you again.
The Kitchen Maus says
You’re very welcome! Thanks for stopping by with a comment. 🙂
Thanks for the photos and explanation of the Suppengemüse. I’ve lived in Germany for several years and have seen these bundles in the stores but never knew what that white hunk was. Now I know it’s celeriac. I was already planning to make soup tomorrow and will pick up a bundle from the market to add to my other vegetables. Danke!
The Kitchen Maus says
Bitte, bitte! I’m so glad that this post was useful. I think you’ll like the flavour of the celeriac adds to your soup. Happy soup making!
Thank you for your helpful explanation. I made chicken soup using this recipe:
and Google translate told me that suppengrun was a birch tree!
Luckily I found your website 🙂
The Kitchen Maus says
You’re very welcome! Hope the recipe turned out to be super tasty. 😊
Friedrich wilhelm says
In Canada I have never seen the bundles we got in Germany BUT we do have frozen xoup greens and Mire-pois in the frozen food section, they even have one with peppers in it (for Italians, Spanish or Portuguese)??? Believe it or not it generally ends up being cheaper than gathering the individual items your self! For Germans items such as celery root, leeks, and parsnips can be pretty expensive!! Anyways, when in Canada sheck out your frozenn food section for “Soup Greens”.
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“I don’t know much about love, just when you come in front, the search is over…!” Yours is a very informative comment. Thanks.