After so many sweet recipes it is time to return to the simple things like soup. Today I’m making Potato Soup (p. 24) using Miss Oelschlager’s recipe in the 1906 Berlin Cook Book. This is the plainest of the three potato soup recipes in the cook book.
I think Miss Oelschlager’s first name might be Louise. The 1901 census has several females in Berlin with the surname but she is the only single one who is older than 10. Louise is 44 years old and living with her 72 year old widowed mother Catherine. They are Lutheran but the census doesn’t list any occupation for either of them. They appear to be living next door to relatives.
I wasn’t sure if Miss Oelschlager meant that the potatoes were to be boiled and then peeled but I went ahead and peeled the potatoes, cut them into to chunks, and put them in a pot. I added just enough water to cover them and let them boil. Once the potatoes were soft I drained the water and mashed them adding 1/4 pound (1/2 a cup) of butter and lots of salt and pepper. I added the quart (4 cups) of milk, stirred and then sieved it and finally returned it to the pot to reheat.
This is certainly a basic soup. I wonder if Louise and Catherine ate this soup with as much salt and pepper as I added to the potatoes? The addition of so much butter makes me reconsider this as a poor person’s soup. A modern cook might want to add some herbs or other seasoning but it is a good plain soup even in the 21st century. It was perfect with some toast tonight when I just wanted something simple.
UPDATE: On September 22, I made a triple batch of this soup over an open hearth at Joseph Schneider Haus. I altered the original recipe by adding some chives, sage, and thyme from their garden. The soup was well received by everyone (children and adults) sampling.
1 quart of milk, 6 potatoes boiled and peeled, 1/4 pound butter, season with pepper and salt, mash the potatoes fine and while mashing add the butter, salt and pepper; pour in gradually the milk boiling, stir it well and strain through a sieve., beat up an egg, and put in after the soup is strained, heat it again as it cools in straining.