Kartoffelsuppe. Born in America, Sir Benjamin Thompson, in the service of the Bavarian Elector Karl Theodor, later Palatinate-Bavarian general and later Imperial Count von Umford (1753 – 1814), was quite the philanthropic “gentleman of the 18th century who set up soup shops all over Bavaria, and wanted to help the lower stratum of his society with his workhouses. As a trained physicist with a great sense of the practical, he continued his work on heat convection, according to which a body stays warm longer, the thinner it is, in the “Rumford soup” he invented in 1784.


It consists of potatoes, pearl barley, peas, bread, beer, salt and bone broth. It became world famous as a soup for the poor and soon found imitators in Hamburg, Frankfurt and London. In order to make the smoke-laden air of Munich a little more bearable, especially in winter, he developed a mobile convection stove on which 150 liters of his thin potato soup, which warms up quickly due to the good heat convection, could be cooked in 14 pots. Today his Kartoffelsuppe is a staple of Berlin’s cuisine.