Austrian Potato Soup

This classic potato soup derives earthiness and depth from porcini mushrooms and bacon.

Austrian Potato Soup

Erdapfel, or “earth apple,” is the term for “potato” in Switzerland, Austria, and southern Germany, while in northern Germany you say Kartoffel. Whatever you call them, potatoes deliver more potassium than bananas and a big dose of vitamin C. This classic soup is sure to satisfy on a cold winter day.

Makes six servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes


  • 1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms (about a handful)
  • 1/2 lb. bacon ends and pieces, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced (retain 1 tbs. chopped celery leaves)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. marjoram (can substitute oregano)
  • 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 1/2 lb. white potatoes, peeled, diced, and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbs. sour cream (can substitute coconut milk)
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, chopped


  • Place the mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with warm water; set aside to reconstitute, about 15 minutes. While the mushrooms soak, warm a stockpot over medium-low heat, then add the bacon and sauté until crispy, about 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon pieces and set aside.
  • Increase the heat under the stockpot to medium, and add the onion to the bacon grease; sauté until softened, about five minutes. Add the carrot and celery, and sauté until bright in color, about two minutes. Add the chopped celery leaves, bay leaf, marjoram, caraway seeds, chicken broth, and beef broth.
  • Remove the mushrooms from their liquid and coarsely chop, and then add them to the soup; strain the liquid you soaked the mushrooms in and add it to the soup as well.
  • Bring the soup to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the carrots are tender, about eight minutes. Add the diced potatoes; if needed, add water to ensure the potatoes are covered by liquid. Return to a boil over medium-high heat, and then reduce the heat and simmer on low until the potatoes are very tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Using a potato masher or an immersion blender, partially mash or blend the soup until smooth (with a blender, this should take just a few pulses). Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove soup from heat and stir in the sour cream, reserved bacon, and parsley. Serve warm.

Why No Numbers? Readers sometimes ask us why we don’t publish nutrition information with our recipes. We believe that (barring specific medical advice to the contrary) if you’re eating primarily whole, healthy foods — an array of sustainably raised vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, meats, fish, eggs, whole-kernel grains, and healthy fats and oils — you probably don’t need to stress about the numbers. We prefer to focus on food quality and trust our bodies to tell us what we need.  — The Editors

This originally appeared as “Hearty Traditions” in the December 2017 issue of Experience Life.

is a U.S. Navy translator, food blogger, and nutrition enthusiast. He is the author of two cookbooks, The Ancestral Table: Traditional Recipes for a Paleo Lifestyle and Paleo Takeout: Restaurant Favorites Without the Junk. His third cookbook, due in spring 2018, will focus on heritage-inspired cooking.

Photography by Russ Crandall

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