This is a local dish from my home region of Westfalia, and thus a very nostalgic dish for me. The star of this food are, of course, the sausages, Westalian mettwürste (or, as we call them locally, „mettenden„), a matured sausage made from roughly ground pork, beef and bacon. It’s often used in thick soups and eintopf dishes and it’s one of my favorite types of sausages. So, unsurprisingly, whenever I visit my home town, I never leave without a package of mettenden from the local butcher, which will provide me with a cherished meal full of childhood memories away from home.
Westfalian mettwurst is surely best purchased in the region, but I do get it in Berlin as well. If you’re not familiar at all with the product, just make sure you’re not confusing it with the many other types of mettwurst in existence!
Ingredients (serves 2-3):
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 50 grams of lardons
- 1/2 kg of potatoes, peeled and diced
- 100 grams of leek, diced
- 100 grams of carrots, peeled and diced
- 100 grams of celeriac, peeled and diced
- 1 liter of vegetable stock
- 2-3 branches of fresh marjoram
- 1 branch of fresh lovage
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon of ground mustard seed
- Freshly ground pepper, salt
- 200 grams of cream
- 1-2 tablespoons of spicy mustard
- 2-3 mettwürste, whole or sliced
- For serving: 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley or marjoram, spicy mustard
- Put the butter and the lardons into a large cold saucepot and heat up over medium heat. Once the butter has melted and the lardons have released the fat (do not let get too brown or crispy!), remove the lardons and set aside.
- Tip the potatoes into the pot and fry for two to three minutes. Gradually, add all the other vegetables (the leek goes in last) and fry 1-2 minutes each time. Then reduce the temperature to low, cover and stew for ca. 15 minutes. Stir occasionally and scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pot.
- Add the stock, the marjoram, lovage, bay leaf and ground mustard seeds. Season some with plenty of ground black pepper and salt. Let simmer over low heat for another 20 to 30 minutes until the vegetables are very soft. 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the sausages.
- Take off the heat, remove the herbs and set aside the sausages. Purée the soup until very smooth.
- Add the cream, season with more freshly ground pepper, salt and mustard to taste.
- Finally, add the sausages again, put back on the heat and let warm through (don’t boil) for a few minutes. Stir regularly to avoid that the soup burns at the bottom.
- Serve sprinkled with freshly ground parsley or marjoram, and spicy mustard on the side (for the sausage, to taste 😊).