Pancake Soup!

February 23, 2016

 

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When I was growing up my mother loved planning road trips.  She kept promising that one day we’d go to Pennsylvania Dutch country and sample the famous seven sweets and seven sours.  She talked about it so often that I was sure when we finally got there it would be a disappointment.

It wasn’t.  I remember that trip – I must have been about 11 – as one of the real delights of my childhood.  And to this day I’m always surprised that when people talk about the regional cuisines of America, the unique food of this corner of our country is so often overlooked.

The Dutch here is a bastardization of  “Deutsch”; most Pennsylvania Dutch came from Southwestern Germany, hundreds of years ago. And contrary to popular belief, they’re not all Amish. The cookery they brought with them has evolved into its own cuisine, that frankly feels as American as – well, shoofly pie.

Leafing through this wonderful 1950 cookbook, I rediscovered some old favorites: whoppie pies, potato rolls, scrapple, strudels of all varieties. And then there were these soups. This cider soup sounds particularly intriguing.

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7 Comments

  • Gretchen says:

    Oh my gosh, what memories. The Pfannekuchen Supp. I grew up in a German family and soup was always served as the “first course” of dinner. Every night, my grandmother or mother would head to the 2nd refrigerator in the basement where there was always a stock pot of beef broth (I guess now they call it “bone broth” – ahead of our time!). Each night, there was something different added – dumplings, matzo balls, rice, thin noodles, leftover vegetables and on those rare “day after” the night we had crepes filled with ultra vinegar-y dressed salad (don’t ask where that came from – it’s not even a complete meal!), the leftover crepes were cut up and served in the soup. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  • Penny Schwartz says:

    I also fondly remember a childhood trip to the Pennsylvania Dutch area, where I learned to twist a pretzel and was rewarded with a certificate–and a whole lot of delicious pretzels!

  • One can find Pfannkuchensuppe all over southern Germany. My favorite German soup is bone broth with egg custard or Eierstich as the German call it.

  • Joy Kramer says:

    I’ve never heard of these things. I guess pancake soup would be like noodle soup of a sort. Do like old cookbooks. I have a neat Mennonite one myself. I love to read cookbooks, but I don’t really do much cooking. Thanks for the recipes and the cookbook cover.

  • Josh says:

    Similar to the Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine, I feel as if the food of the Midwest (particularly Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan) is overlooked/underrated as a regional American cuisine. Thank you for reminding us of this undervalued piece of American gastronomy

  • Gabriella says:

    They still make pancake soup in Southern Germany – basically the same as above made with a good homemade broth, pancake (without baking powder) cut into julienne strips with some parsley or chives added on top. Called Flädle Suppe. You can order it as a starter in most German restaurants in the south.

  • Ulli K. says:

    Memories,oh, what good memories! In Austria the pancake soup is called “Frittatensuppe” and comes usually with chives on top – delicious! I definitely know what to cook for dinner tonight in a dreary, cold and rainy NY!
    Make sure you make enough pancakes – for dessert spread jam on the pancake ( most popular is apricot jam, red currant jam, strawberry jam….), roll them up, sprinkle a dash of confectioner´s sugar over them and enjoy the “Palatschinken” as we Austrians call this special treat!

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