The next stop on our tour of Onions Around the World is Germany and suppengrün!
The best soups start with a delicious foundation of aromatic vegetables and Germany’s interpretation of this mix is no exception. As we continue to explore onion cooking bases around the world, German suppengrün, or soup greens, is the next delicious set of ingredients we are sharing to expand your experimentation with onions in the kitchen.
Also sometimes called suppengemüse, or soup vegetables, these vegetables are often found conveniently bundled together at markets. Traditionally the mix includes carrots, celery root, and leeks. It is not uncommon to find the addition of onions, parsnips, and herbs such as parsley in the bundles as well, and celery sometimes serves as a substitute for celery root.
Much like the French Mirepoix, suppengrün serves as a cooking base for soups and stews. The vegetables are sautéed in oil or butter until softened and then other soup ingredients are added that continue to build upon this base of flavors.
Like other similar cooking bases that we’ve explored, consistency in chopping is important when preparing recipes. All the pieces of vegetables should be similar in size to ensure even cooking so that when you are ready to add more ingredients or puree the base, everything is flavorful and tender.
It’s probably no surprise that we expanded our suppengrün to include yellow onions. We also added flat leaf parsley and thyme. While celery root is more traditional, it’s not always the easiest to work with as the tough skin of the large round root needs to be peeled and then the dense root chopped. Celery stalks and leaves make an ideal substitute.
These vegetables are especially delicious when blended into a creamy, comforting soup. In the coming weeks, we will be using them to make a potato and leek soup called kartoffelsuppe and we will recreate a traditional version that is topped with small shrimp. Stay tuned for the tasty recipe!
Images by Lori Rice for the National Onion Association.