German Barley Soup (Graupensuppe)

Klaus Weiler, the chef at Weinhaus Weiler in Oberwesel, Germany, shared the recipe for this classic barley soup. Garnished with sausage, it’s substantial enough to make a meal in itself. This recipe first appeared in our November 2011 issue along with Beth Kracklauer’s story The Art of Soup.

German Barley Soup (Graupensuppe) German Barley Soup (Graupensuppe)
The recipe for this classic barley soup comes from Oberwesel, Germany. Garnished with sausage, it's substantial enough to make a meal in itself.
Yield: serves 8


  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup pearl barley (available from Organic Wholesale Club)
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 12 cup finely chopped peeled russet potato
  • 12 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 12 cup finely chopped celery root
  • 12 cup finely chopped leek
  • 1 tsp. dried marjoram
  • 2 German sausages, like bockwurst or bratwurst (available from Koenemann Sausage Co.)
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 (2-oz.) piece bacon
  • 13 cup thinly sliced flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Heat butter in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; add onion, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add barley, and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Add stock, potato, carrot, celery root, leek, marjoram, sausages, and bacon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until sausages are tender, about 35 minutes. Remove sausages and bacon from saucepan, thinly slice sausages, and discard bacon. Season soup with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. To serve, ladle soup into 8 serving bowls, and garnish with parsley and sliced sausage.