Soups were a vital part of the communal kitchen repertoire, as they were able to feed a large number of people simply, and typically with ingredients that were always on hand. Not a day went by when some soup was not served, especially for the noon meal.
In late summer, one of the most commonly served was Fransozensuppe, or “French Soup” in the Amana German dialect, which was made from a variety of fresh vegetables harvested from the kitchen garden, and is in many ways a Germanic-version of minestrone.
The following recipe should be seen as a suggestion, and you should make yours based on the produce available in your garden: celery, green beans, fresh lima beans, turnips, or most other produce will also work well. The only things that should always be present are the tomatoes, cabbage, and onion.
While this recipe makes 12 servings at least, it keeps well in the refrigerator and freezer, so there is no reason to make a large batch and then be able to enjoy a simple dinner at some point in the future from the leftovers.
• 2 quarts vegetable stock
• 1 quart seeded and chopped tomatoes
• 2 quarts shredded cabbage
• 3 medium onions cut into medium dice
• 3 medium carrots cut into small dice
• 4 medium red potatoes, cut into large dice
• 1 tablespoon celery seed
• 1 tablespoon salt
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Bring stock to a gentle boil. Add in the vegetables and simmer until tender. Add in salt and pepper, taste, and adjust by adding more if necessary. While not at all traditional, we also like to add a few drops of hot pepper sauce to our bowl of Fransozensuppe.