Dutch Soup Recipes
As they cleared the
woodlands in Pennsylvania, the only food to eat was soup. To the
early Pennsylvania Germans, soup was the all-purpose food. It
took time to clear the land, raise the first crops, and raise
cattle and poultry. In the meantime, people had to eat. They
could not wait for the harvest and the butchering. Soup was
frugal and filling. The farm wives added whatever food was
available and they could drop into the soup kettle. It kept body
and soul feed.
Even with only milk and
flour, they made two kinds of soup; brown flour soup and Rivvel
soup. Combining milk, potatoes, and onions, they had another two
more kinds of soup: potato soup and onion soup. Thus, these
early Pennsylvania Germans called the milk based soups "pour man's soups." Nevertheless, to the end of their lives they
remembered how good they had tasted and smelled.
Today we continue to
make milk soups. It happens that we like them.
As their livestock
increased, their fields and gardens yielded grains, vegetables,
and herbs, the Pennsylvania Germans began creating soups that
are more substantial. Compared to the poor man's soups, they
called these soups rich. They were soups that could be easily "stretched," if an unexpected guest arrived.
One day, Uncle Pete came
to visit Harry and Esther Showalter on their Roaring Springs
farm. Uncle Pete was a devious sort of fellow. Instead of saying
that he was hungry, told Esther, that he could make Stone Soup. Now Esther has made soup from just about everything, but she had
never tried to make soup from a stone.
"First," said Uncle
Pete, "we must find a fine, round stone in the fields." He
rushed out into the cornfield and found a fine, round stone. He
asked Esther to put water in the stockpot and get it boiling. With the clean and polished stone, he dropped it into the
"Now," he said, "We need some
potatoes, some cabbage, and some onions. Oh, yes, some corn and
some string beans. In addition, let us see, some tomatoes.
Better, add a little parsley and seasoning, too. While you are
at it, just toss in a good-sized piece of meat. There now, I
think that is all. This is Stone Soup."