Excerpt from Chapter 2 Pennsylvania Dutch Soups pages 9 & 10.
Like other European peoples except the French and English the Dutch often relied upon a good soup to make the main dish of the meal.
A really quite astounding variety of unique soups are presented here. Some of these soups are very rich but others could well be called-- (indeed have been called)--poverty soups.
In those long pioneer years from 1700 onward when the Dutch homesteads had to be operated with iron economy the ingenuity of the Dutch hausfrau came to the fore to produce some singularly cheap and yet singularly flavorful soups.
The Brown Flour Soup (Braune Mehlsuppe) is distinctive of these and I well remember that during the 1893 panic when my parents had to feed six children on very little income indeed I was very frequently fed this soup; also the Dutch Potato Soup; also the Brown Potato Chowder; a kind of combination of both. All good cooks will agree that flour carefully browned develops a very appetizing flavor; it is the very source of the appetizing appeal of bread or piecrust so why shouldn't it be good? I can relish it today. The Potato Soup Brown Chowder and the Pretzel Soup days in my home were always good days for me!
The Dutch masterpiece Philadelphia Pepperpot Soup was already on its way to being nationalized before the Campbell's Soup concern (with its great factories right in the Dutch territory) made it international by canning it. It is made with some local variations but it is a man's soup in superlative degree. The ladies sometimes complain that it is too "hot", but men would not do away with the cayenne in it. I provide two recipes from different counties.
The Dutch make of course such standard things as vegetable bean and noodle soup but their noodles when home-made are not the fine-cut Hungarian type; they are broader and thicker. They also use soup balls and egg drops in soup broth.
Clam soup was not a frequent treat for the Dutch but it was liked. Copyright Permission by Dover Publications Inc.