German Potato Soup

Recipe for German Potato Soup
Sam Jones/Quinn Brein


3 slices bacon
3 cups diced peeled potatoes
1 small onion, chopped fine
2 stalks celery, chopped fine (leaves OK)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
rivels (mixture follows)
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups egg noodles, or make your own rivels (below)


Chop bacon fine and fry in a skillet until crisp and brown. Put the cooked bacon in a large saucepan and add potatoes, onion, celery, salt, and pepper. Cover with water and cook until vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Put the noodles (or rivels) into gently boiling soup, stirring constantly so they stay separate. Add milk and butter and cook 10 to 15 minutes more, or until noodles (or rivels) are done.

RIVELS (optional)


Serves 6 to 8 hungry people.

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

Potato soup

We made potato soup a lot here and one of our favorites. I have never added rivels to it but it will be one I will try. I use the same basic recipe but I load mine with cheese and sour cream. Add some onion and garlic also.I have been making rivels since I was a child when my grandparents taught me. Sounds like a great add. Thanks for sharing.

Question on German potato soup

My question is. I wonder if you could use heavy cream instead of the evaporated milk&water or regular whole milk? Or would that just be to much? I love the creaminess of soups and sauces made with heavy cream. I look forward to trying this recipe. I love soups. Thanks

homemade German potato soup

The Editors's picture

Hi, Linda. Yes, you could substitute heavy cream in place of the milk and butter. Though 2 cups is quite a bit. So perhaps 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup whole or 2% milk.

Rivels in the soup

My grandma taught me how to make rivels 45+ years ago. She made the dough the same, but used a box grater to make them. This is a different potato soup recipe, from the Lancaster County Pa recipe I am used to.

German Potato Soup

We made something similar to this while I was growing up in my Swedish Family. My maternal gramma was German, however, and she taught us to make what we kids called "fat noodles" which sound similar to the rivals or spaetzle. My Mom used a big heavy kettle to make her soup and she just cooked/fried the bacon right in that same pan and then added the rest of the ingredients a few at a time, noodles last. No need to mess up two pans, she said. ;-)

German Potato Soup

This soup is absolutely delicious and has become a "go to" when cold weather hits! I use chicken stock in place of the water, and papardelle instead of the rivels. Yummy!!

German potato soup

This is delicious I used gluten free flour to make the spaetzle. Just added a little water to the dough. What a treat.

German Potato Soup

That’s my mom’s recipe but she called the rivels, “spetzles”

Sweet Potatoes

Has anyone tried this with sweet potatoes or yams?

German potato soup

Shortcuts? I wonder if you can use pre-cooked real bacon. I usually buy the little bags without nitrites sold at Whole Foods and other stores. For Summer picnics and holidays, I make vegetarian baked beans but keep the bacon on the side for those who want to stir it into their beans. I was thinking that you could use the bacon in this recipe as well. I will try it and report back.

I just made this recipe and

I just made this recipe and my entire family loved it. My family make rivals too but my grandma always called them ripples. It smelled delicious while cooking and was even better while eating. Great recipe!! Thank you for sharing.

My Rivals, 1 cup flour 1 egg

My Rivals, 1 cup flour 1 egg slightly beaten sift salt in flour I usually add a pinch, in bowl add egg stir then mix until little rivals form continue with fingers until are small cook until tender 7/10 minutes, my yankee mother in law taught me

German potatoe soup

When my Mom made potatoe soup she made a rou from the flour butter and milk 1st, than added the boiled potatoes and liquid and cooked a little longer stirring tilk

Made this for the first time

Made this for the first time but also added some diced pork chop. Everyone loved it. Next time I will use evaporated milk and some carrots too.

I make this soup all the

I make this soup all the time. I often add shredded carrot. Can be made with evaporated milk+water or a little cream to make it richer. I am adding or tweeking all the time! Wonderful on a chilly day!

Very similar to the potato

Very similar to the potato soup I make. I use a recipe taught and shared with me from my landlady in K'town Germany in the '60s
Potatoes of good flavor. Boiled in water to cover, drain. Mash, coarsely. Add whole milk +/- for thickness and a gob of butter. Add a 1/4 cup shredded carrot. Simmer 'til carrot is tender. Ladel into a bowl garnished with a bit of butter, top with fresh minced parsley.
I sometimes use fine diced celery in mine, too; garnish with minced green onion tops.

Reader rating of 5 out of 5.

The Editors's picture

Reader rating of 5 out of 5. 100% of readers would make this recipe again. Submit your own review!
This is a great recipe. My mother made this soup all the time when I was growing up. (She still makes it!) She would also add sliced hard boiled egg into the soup. If you like, you can also make it without the bacon, which is what I do and then add a spoon of butter. It's a nice comfort food. – Reviewed by Candi Fairburn
It was just wonderful. – Anonymous Review
When I came across this recipe it was in Recipes with a History and had the name Spook Soup. The family made this soup at Halloween time to have when the children came home from getting their Halloween treats and the rivals in the soup were called little ghost. I made this soup and was very pleased at the outcome. It is the best-tasting Potato Soup I have ever eaten. Will make this many times over my lifetime. – Reviewed by Dee Vernille
My grandmother was Pennsylvania Dutch and born in 1895. This recipe was exactly like the potato soup she made. If you use 1 cup evaporated milk and 1 cup water as a substitute for the milk, it makes the soup a little richer. I also use freshly ground black pepper - a little more than this recipe calls for. Try it ! – Anonymous Review
I've made this soup many times, and it's the best potato soup ever! My recipe was getting tattered from so much use, so I'm thrilled to find it online. – Reviewed by Cheryl Lewis
This is the same recipe my grandmother made for me as far back as I can remember and which she taught me. It can't be beat for flavor and being filling on a cold winter's day. Plus it lends well to you adding your own personal touches and changes. Make it once and you will have a family favorite. – Reviewed by Dennis James
My mom would make this on cold winter days to warm us up after a day outside. It's also a great comfort food! – Reviewed by Carollee Slodysko
We always had a fresh chopped onion to sprinkle on top along with a teaspoon of cider vinegar. The added crunch and tart taste was great. We had this nearly every day for lunch in the summer when I was growing up. This is a real comfort food. – Reviewed by Harvey Miller