Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

Coffee Soup

Have you ever had Coffee Soup?

Ever heard of Coffee Soup?

Outside my parents’ home, I haven’t. But it’s good stuff. (I’m really curious whether it’s a Spess family thing or if other people enjoy it, too.)

When I was a kid, Mama fixed a big breakfast every day of the week except Sunday. We had pancakes, Squaw Bread, French Toast, eggs–fried or scrambled–and, of course, biscuits and gravy. Kids who rarely ate breakfast at home loved it when they stayed all night with us.

Of course, some of them ate breakfast weird, even with us. They’d do strange (to us) things such as putting peanut butter on their pancakes and powdered sugar on their Squaw Bread instead of syrup, like us ‘normal’ people.

When we had biscuits and gravy, though, most everybody ate it the right way. Oh, some had their biscuits upside down instead of the *right* way, but we understood that some people were just different.

The one thing that seemed to blow every kid’s mind the first time was Coffee Soup. For it to turn out right, you just about have to start with the biscuits my mama made. No fat in the bread makes it a little denser and more likely not to fall apart–necessary when you make Soup. (I tried it once with a canned biscuit. Yuck!)

Here’s what you’ll need:

One coffee cup
Hot coffee
Hot biscuit
Cream, Half-and-Half or milk

Break the biscuit up in the coffee cup. Add coffee to barely cover the biscuit, then a spoonful of sugar and enough milk to make it a delicious tan color. Taste. If it’s not sweet enough, add a little more sugar.

Eat it up with a spoon. Try it next time you make biscuits. You’ll be surprised at how good it is!

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23 thoughts on “Coffee Soup

  1. Susan, I loved looking through your recipes – Chicken and Rice was one of my favorite things growing up. I’ve never heard of Coffee/Soup, but it sounds like a perfectly frugal way of using up ingredients. I’m wondering if it was originially used with stale biscuits! At any rate, I bet with the milk and the coffee and the biscuit with no fat it’s like crunching up biscotti in a latte!

    • I’m so glad you like them. I love having them there. When my kids say, “I need your recipe…” I answer, “It’s on my blog!” (Gets me a few more views, too. LOL)
      You have to try Mama biscuits. The only fat is in the buttermilk. It’s not dry like a biscotti but it’s a little heavy. Good stuff though!

  2. I grew up eating Coffee Soup too. It tasted great to me and even though I don’t drink coffee even now (I’m 55), I still really enjoy coffee soup. I gave it to my kids for breakfast too. Now I was raised with it using saltines instead of biscuits. So I imagine it was one of those things that you used what you had on hand. My husband had never heard of it and he would make these noises when I fed it to my kids. LOL He finally tasted it and said that it “wasn’t bad”. And this is from the worlds most picky eater!

    We are from Ohio. Maybe it is a regional thing? Kind of like the candy Buckeyes? 🙂

    • I’ve never heard of eating it with saltines, Patti, but hey! Good is good! LOL. Try it sometime with Mama biscuits. I’m not sure any other kind would hold together. Mama’s don’t have fat in them, you just cook them with oil in the pan. It’s kind of a heavy biscuit but delicious!
      I’ve never heard of Buckeye Candy. What’s it taste like?
      Thanks for dropping by my Small Town World. Hope you’ll come back again!

  3. My grandparents (and I) ate coffee soup during the late forties,thru the fifties.
    Grrandma always used the home-made bread that was getting a little old & dry.
    Nothing thrown away during those days.
    Old bread,coffee,sugar, creme or condensed milk.


    • Hi Al! Thanks for visiting my Small Town World!
      Coffee soup is the best, isn’t it? The memory of cold morning with hot biscuits and gravy, followed by coffee soup is so precious. Happy, warm memories!
      Have a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

  4. It was nice to find someone else who was raised on “coffee soup.”. Orignally from N. Central PA. I still love this as a quick breakfast.

    • I don’t eat coffee soup often these days (calories, calories, calories) but when I do, my tongue laps my brains out!!! (That’s a good thing.) 🙂
      Thanks for coming to visit my Small Town World. Hope you’ll be back soon!

  5. I grew up in northwest Ohio, and I too had coffee soup in the late 50’s – early 60’s. My Mother made it with the heal of the bread on a saucer, a few spoonfuls of her coffee with cream and some sugar – mmmmm mmmm good.

    Thanks for the memory.

    • Funny how everyone has a different version of nearly the same thing, isn’t it? Gotta love the soup!
      Thanks for dropping by my Small Town World. Y’all come back now. Ya hear?

  6. Pingback: York Town Square | Coffee soup, Fastnachts and other York County, Pa., dishes

  7. I’ve never heard of coffee soup before but I can imagine a generation or so ago embracing it because it uses every day food items and common sense. 🙂

  8. Coffee soup was a standard in our home in Conemaugh, Pennsylvania. We used bread, toast or crackers in it. My father ate it, my siblings ate it, and now my children and grandchildren eat it. Also saw it on HGTV where Vanilla Ice was in an Amish home and they made it for him.

  9. And here I just thought it was some crazy concoction dreamt up by my Grandma, (who lived in the mountains of Pennsylvania) and passed the secret recipe on to my mom. Mom would make coffee soup before we went to school but it was brown sugar all the way , on top of your any run of the mill bread (Bunny Bread) and of course Maxwell House was the choice brand coffee. It’s no wonder my brother and I were wired all morning in school back in the 60’s.

    • Hey Cory!
      I see your email says in part parkhill. Is that Parkhill, Oklahoma? My grandma lived there when I was a kid!
      Funny, I’d never heard coffee soup could be made with anything except our mama’s biscuits, but since I posted that blog I’ve heard of all kinds of things to replace the biscuits, including soda crackers.
      Isn’t it funny how as kids, we think we’re the only ones? My niece thought the poem–“love you little, love you big, love you like a little pig”–was made up by her dad! I love it!

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