Eat like a German - German Recipe:
Onion Soup from Weimar

Onion Soup from Weimar
Zwiebelsuppe from Weimar
[ source: Zwiebelmarkt Weimar 2008]

Serves: 4

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

The second October weekend in Weimar, nothing goes without onion. On cake, in soup, in the famous plaited loaf or in bundles of (dry) flowers… the onion market of Weimar is legendary. More than 300000 visitors come by to see the event, both Weimar residents and external visitors enjoy this extraordinary event in the city of classics.

Weimar Onion Soup

Weimar in Thuringia is well known for its literary heritage, its two great sons Friedrich Schiller and Johann Wolfgang Goethe whose traces can be found at just about every corner. The two "poet kings" lived in 18th century Weimar, and there are still places reminiscent of them, e.g. the Goethe house, a park, the monument in front of the theater, the beautiful Amalien library…

The name Weimar is not only connected to past literary greats, though. Weimaraner dogs are also renowned, and so are the particularly tasty onions, at least regionally.

They can't be just about any onions, though, they have to be the Heldrung onions: small, shiny, in red or white.

Every year in October, Weimar celebrates its traditional onion market which was mentioned in documents dating back to the 17th century.

In earlier times, before the invention of the supermarket, it was necessary to stock up on vegetables for the winter at the end of the fall growing season; today, it is more of a tradition and a popular local festival.

The onion braids, here called Rispen (panicles) still sell well, and they are offered on more than 100 stalls participating in the festival.

You don't need to hang them up over your work desk or on the entrance door, as Goethe supposedly did in the 18th century, it's quite enough to hang them in your kitchen, as decoration and stockpile at once.

Of course, the festival also sees many onion dishes being offered. The best-known of these may easily be the Weimar onion soup.


  • 1 kg onions
  • 50 g butter
  • 1 liter vegetable broth
  • 2 small whole wheat breads
  • 100 g grated Emmental cheese
  • 1 tea spoon caraway seed, whole
  • salt and pepper


Peel the onions, cut them into small slices and lightly fry them in a large pot until just glassy.

Pour up with vegetable broth, add caraway, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, cut the breads into 4-5 thin slices each and roast in a dry pan or, if necessary, put in a toaster.

Give the soup into four shallow, heat-resistant bowls, set two slices of roasted bread on each and spread some cheese over them.

Bake surface golden-brown in an oven, for about 15 minutes.

Take care! When serving, the bread slices will be very hot, with a crunchy top and a bottom side soggy from the soup… delicious, but a bit difficult to eat.

Gaby Leeser
Gaby Leeser

This german recipe has been written and shared by Gaby Leeser. If you would also like to share a tasty german recipe, simply send us an email or post it on Facebook. We will review it and if accepted publish your here here in this Eat like a German recipe collection.

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