Frittatensuppe is one of the many culinary delights I enjoy when I’m back in Austria. It’s a simple soup combining sliced pancakes called Palatschinken and beef consommé. When my mum makes Palatschinken at home, they are served two ways. As a sweet version rolled up with apricot jam in the middle and as Austrian pancake soup, sliced in clear broth. If you’re after a simple comforting soup for a mid-week meal, this Frittatensuppe recipe is for you.
Frittatensuppe & Palatschinken History & Origin
The word ‘Frittate’ comes from the Italian ‘frittata’ meaning ‘fried’ and refers to the fact that the pancake has been cooked on a hot surface, using butter or oil. More interestingly, the term ‘Palatschinke’ appears to originate from the Latin word ‘placenta’ meaning ‘cake’. Later references from from the Slavic region and specifically modern-day Hungary refer to ‘palacsinta’ which then found its way into Austria as ‘Palatschinken’ during the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.
The soup is still hugely popular and can be found on the menu of many traditional Gasthäuser (inns/restaurants) across Austria.
In order to make Frittatensuppe, you have to make Palatschinken first. After that it’s easy. Roll up the Palatschinken, slice them into 3 mm strips (once sliced the Palatschinken are called Frittaten), add them to a bowl of beef consommé or vegetable stock, top the broth with chives and you’re ready to eat!
This is my mum’s Austrian Goulash soup recipe, a hearty stew made with paprika spice, beef, waxy potatoes and Wiener (same as Frankfurter) sausages. Austrian Gulaschsuppe is a typical autumn and winter dish, delicious when it’s cold outside – although it works well year-round in Scotland…!
I usually make the Goulasch soup a day in advance, it intensifies and improves the flavour and thickens the sauce.
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
4 tbsp mild paprika spice
1/2 tsp hot paprika spice
1/2 tsp mild chilli powder
2 tbsp red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
500g good quality, very lean stewing beef, cut into 1 cm cubes
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp caraway seeds
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, zest only
1 tbsp salt
750g waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes
2 tbsp cornflour
2 Wiener (Frankfurter) sausages, cut into 0.5 cm slices
Chives, finely sliced to garnish
How to make Goulash Soup
Heat the sunflower oil in a large pot (don’t use a non-stick pot for this recipe or the onions won’t brown), add the chopped onions and fry until nicely browned.
Take the pot off the flame, then add the mild and hot paprika spice, mild chilli powder and vinegar and stir in the beef cubes until fully coated. Add 250g of water to help with this process. You can dial up the Goulash’s spiciness by replacing the mild paprika with hot paprika.
Put the pot back on the flame. Add the bay leaves, caraway seeds, garlic, lemon zest and salt. Stir and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add one litre of hot water to the pot, cover and simmer on a low heat for about an hour or more. Stir every now and then to ensure the stew doesn’t burn or catch on the bottom of the pot.
Add the potato cubes and top up with more water to ensure everything is covered.
Simmer for a further 30 minutes.
In the meantime, mix the cornflour with 5 tbsp water in a small bowl, then add to the pot. This will thicken the liquid of the stew.
Finally, add the Wiener sausages and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
This is simply the best potato soup ever. It’s made entirely without the help of ready-made stock. Instead, lots of fresh vegetables, herbs and spices are used to give it its wonderfully wholesome taste!
My Mum’s Austrian Potato Soup (makes 8 large portions)
750g potatoes, peeled
1 celery stick with some of the leaves
1 small leek
1 small carrot
1 small onion
1 garlic clove
1/2 root parsley
A few lovage leaves
1 tbsp caraway seeds
2 bay leaves
3 juniper berries
8 pepper corns
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
A few good splashes of Worcester sauce
6 tbsp sour cream
3 tbsp cream
How to make Austrian Potato Soup
Roughly chop the vegetables (potatoes, celeriac, celery stick, leek, carrot, onion, garlic, root parsley) and place them in a large pot.
Add the lovage leaves, caraway seeds, bay leaves, juniper berries and pepper corns.
Add water to cover the vegetables, herbs and spices.
Add 1 tbsp of salt, stir well, then bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes.
Take out the bay leaves, then puree the soup.
Add the vinegar, Worcester sauce, sour cream and cream and puree again.
Season to taste.
A few slices of pumpernickel or similar dark rye bread, cut into cubes and lightly toasted.
Enjoy! For me, this potato soup is synonymous with the very best flavours of home. It’s perfect for autumn and winter evenings.