Amish Cook Classic: Coffee Soup

coffee soup
Amish Cook Classic: Coffee Soup, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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Um..sorry, I just can’t get into this one: coffee soup.  This is one of those hardscrabble, from-scratch creations that the Amish were so good at creating  (or if not creating, embracing) during tough economic times like the Great Depression. This recipe has its roots there.  This seems to be a favorite of older Amish, not so much among the young.  Here is what the original Amish Cook, Elizabeth Coblentz, had to say about “coffee soup”:

Breakfasts were simpler when I was growing up and coffee soup was on our breakfast table every morning. When Mother fixed a big bowl of coffee soup, we would take a dipper and put the coffee soup on our plates. Mother toasted the bread in the oven to give it a crispier, crunchier consistency. When we are just eating toast with butter for breakfast, we toast our bread on top of a burner on the kerosene oven. Toasting the bread inside the oven makes it harder, which is what you want for coffee soup.

I have always sweetened my coffee soup with cream. Some people like it sweet, but I like it not very sweet. Some of us mix cheese and potatoes in with our coffee soup. Now we mostly use crackers instead of toast, which I guess is easier than bothering to toast the bread. The soup is served in individual coffee mugs for each person. Not as many people eat coffee soup today, although some of the older folks still enjoy theirs.

Ugh..potatoes in coffee soup?  No thanks.  No disrespect meant to Elizabeth, who was like a grandmother to me:)  I don’t even like coffee plain, so I doubt pouring it over potatoes would be any more appealing.  But here’s the recipe:

4 cups hot coffee
4 slices bread — toasted
sugar
cream

Brew the coffee according to your taste. Break each slice of bread into 1-inch
pieces and place in four serving bowls. Fill each bowl with steaming coffee. Add
sugar and cream to your taste and stir. Serve hot.

Serves 4

 

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The Discussion

  1. Sandra Kaczanowcke says:


    Well, I think I’ll just stick to normal coffee in my mug and have my toast on a plate. Although, I suppose it isn’t much different than dunking your toast in your coffee.

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  2. Coffee soup is quite common here (west central rural Ohio) – especially among those who remember the Depression. My father-in-law use to eat it with crackers and cream. It wasn’t much of a meal; he would have it more as a snack. He drank a lot of coffee anyway; maybe he considered it a nice change of pace!

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  3. It would depend on how the coffee was made, too! Was it weak? Was it fresh-ground? I suppose it was a way to make the cream go further instead of making cream or milk toast. It wouldn’t be cheap now, with the price of coffee and cream! I do use coffee as a flavouring in baked goods.

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  4. Nancy LaLiberte says:


    Actually, I think this sounds pretty good. The same as eating a piece of toast and drinking a cup of coffee, just all mixed together. Would be especially good with homemade bread…. and a bit like “milk toast” which I ate as a child – buttered toast in a bowl with warm milk poured over top. .I think I would leave the potatoes out, although that would be like adding hash browns to the piece of toast and cup of coffee.

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  5. Hmmm.. my grandfather always said he had coffee soup after we 4 grandkids were done dunking our homemade fried cakes in his cup.

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    • Nancy LaLiberte says:


      Oh my gosh, Christy! Are we related??? My grandpa taught me how to dunk, using my grandmas’s homemade fried cakes! She made them once a week, and kept them in a special jar on “the broadshelf” – and I have that jar on my countertop today. Wonderful memories.
      She also made dinner rolls like no others — another chapter to the “lard” discussion.

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  6. As a child growing up in Texas, I remember my grandmother making hot biscuits every morning for breakfast. We would float a biscuit in the coffee and eat it, but we didn’t call it soup. And yes the children did get coffee and biscuit. Haven’t had it in years.

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    • Welcome to amishcookonline, Dick! And “floating biscuits”, they must have very light and airy, that sounds neat! (the floating biscuits, not the coffee soup)

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  7. My grandfather started every day with coffee soup but he used crackers instead of toast.

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  8. I first looked at this and I thought ” coffee soup” yuck that doesn’t sound verry tasty, then I got to reading what everybody had to say. It is the same as dunking toast in the coffee and I do that all the time. I like home made bread the best. So I guess it isn’t as bad as I thought. Different people call things different names. We all like coffee.haha!

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  9. Becky Leeman says:


    when my dad was in a nursing home he didn’t like some of the food and said he had “coffee soup” for dinner. My parents didn’t drink coffee at home so when I was little we had crackers in milk.

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  10. Zelka Cani says:


    OK, I am not a fan of coffee soup, infact, not a fan of coffee. However, I find this interesting. My family comes from Europe, from a farming background. My inlaws still live in Europe. When visiting them in 2006, what did my father-in-law have for breakfast……coffee soup!!! It was a way to use up that ‘old’ bread that has gone slightly dry, it was broken up into a bowl and coffee poured over it. Sorry, could not look at it as my stomach could not handle it. It was a way to use up bread without having to throw it out.

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  11. Laura Kline says:


    I love coffee soup! Both of my grandmothers made it for us as kids and I continue to love it, although I don’t indulge much any more! One grandmother made it with exactly 13 saltines broken on a plate, poured hot coffee over it, then poured milk from the jug until it was just the right shade of milky brown, then sprinkle sugar all over the top. Yum! The other grandmother made homemade bread – she’d cut a slab of it about 1 1/2 inches thick, butter the top, pour the hot coffee over, then milk, then sugar. You need enough coffee to make it stay on the plate (even after it soaks into the bread or crackers) otherwise it wouldn’t be soup!

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    • Laura, thanks for sharing that! I think I prefer the bread coffee soup over the saltines!:)

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  12. this was certainly a regular in our home and grandparents on goth sides of the family. we did not bother to toast the bread and after the coffee was poured over the bread the sugar was evenly dispersed over the moistened bread so every portion was sweetened. Also, my grandfather had his bedtime snack in the same oval bowl and bread or biscuits were used. he kept the leftovers taken care of and even some peas. his coffee was half coffee and half evap milk. Cool memories

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  13. I grew up dipping my toast in my “Nan’s” (Great-Grandmother) coffee. We have no Amish roots (that I am aware of) but we did live about an hour away from Sugarcreek, Ohio.So perhaps that she is where she got the idea.

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