How to make classic, creamy German Knoephla Soup

Knoepha Soup

Is there anything more cozy to have on a cold day than soup? What about a soup from your childhood that brings back great memories?

Even though I only ever had this soup at school or a restaurant in North Dakota, Knoephla (or Knepfla) soup is one of my favorites from the German culture.

Knoephla is roughly translated into “little buttons” and are, in fact, little dumplings. The knoephla can be used in a number of ways, like a casserole, but the most popular way is in soup.

The soup is a chicken stock based, creamy soup with the dumplings, carrots, onions and potatoes. It is warming and comforting. It also is great to have when you’re sick. If you’re lactose intolerant like me, you can add coconut milk or just take about multple lactaid pills.

Knoephla Soup

Ingredients for soup:

  • Water
  • 3 tblspn. butter
  • 1 4-cup container of chicken broth (low sodium)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 4-5 medium red potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups Milk, half & half, cream or 1 can of coconut milk (your choice)
  • salt and pepper

Ingredients for Knoephla dumplings:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • Between 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup Milk

Instructions:

Knoephla – In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. In a separate dish, combine the egg with about 1/4 cup milk. Slowly add in the milk and egg mixture to the flour and mix with your hands. Continue to add more milk until it becomes a shaggy dough. Place dough onto a clean working surface sprinkled with flour until the dough comes together. Roll into long, 1-inch thin logs and cut into 1-inch pieces.

Soup – In a large soup pot, melt butter and sauté onion, celery, carrots and potatoes until softened, about 8 minutes. Add in diced garlic, cook for 2 minutes. Add in stock and water to just cover the vegetables and add two bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add in the pieces of knoephla and simmer about 10 minutes.

Then, add in the milk/cream/half & half or coconut milk and stir well. Taste and add more salt/pepper if needed. Heat thoroughly, but don’t bring to a boil.

Serve with a side of bread, if you like.

Other posts from Baking Through History:


How to make a delicious, hearty winter dinner of Pastie (meat pie)

Pastie with gravy

Everyone has the dishes they love from their childhood. The one or two meals that just bring back great memories and makes you feel good when you eat it. For me, one dish is called “Pastie,” pronounced [pass-tee].

The dish, which originated in England, can be made two ways: a smaller, filled hand pie or a standard pie, like the one my mom made. It’s filled with any spiced meat, onion and potatoes. It can be fried or baked. The hand pie version is apparently very popular in Michigan and Cornwall, England.

I’ve made some changes to my mom’s recipe by adding in some extra spices and pouring over gravy when it is served, but the essence of the original dish I grew up with is there.

Here’s what you need.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pie crusts (store bought or homemade)
  • 1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 3-4 larger red potatoes, diced into 1 inch chunks
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Worcestershire sauce – add to taste (optional)
  • Soy sauce – add to taste (optional)
  • 1 packet of brown gravy, prepared separately

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a sauté pan, pour in olive oil and add onion. Cook onion until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Remove onion and garlic from the pan into a separate bowl. Add in ground beef and cook until browned. Drain excess fat from ground beef and add back in the onions and garlic. Add in the potatoes, salt, pepper and spices. Cook until the potatoes start to become translucent.

While the mixture is cooking in the sauté pan, prepare the pie pan by placing one of the unbaked pie crusts in the bottom of the pie dish.

Once the potatoes are just starting to cook, place all the filling into the crust and top with second pie crust. Crimp edges, slice a vent into top of pie to allow steam to escape and place in oven to bake for 30-35 minutes.

If the pie crust starts to brown too quickly, you can place aluminum foil over the top to stop the browning.

Once baked, let cool for 10 minutes while you prepare the brown gravy. Slice into pie pieces and serve with gravy on top.

Enjoy!

Other posts from Baking Through History:


Baking Through History: Great Grandma’s Ginger Cookies

I think I get my love of baking (and gardening) from my great grandma. She was a great baker and always had something sweet to eat when I visited her home in Herried, South Dakota.

Ginger Cookies from Laura Berreth

My great grandma, Laura Vossler Berreth, lived to be 95 years old. Her family was part of a group called “Germans from Russia” who started arriving in the U.S. in the 1870s.

I remember my great grandma fondly, and I love the recipes she passed down to my grandma and my aunt, who then passed them to me.

According to her obituary, she was born in 1915 on the family homestead near Terry, Montana. When she was quite young her parents moved back to the Vossler homestead, located northeast of Zeeland, North Dakota. They lived in a sod house, which her grandparents built when they homesteaded the land.

She led quite the interesting life painting, working, crafting, growing roses and irises and even moving to Lodi, California for a time before coming back to the North Dakota/South Dakota area.

One note in her obituary that made me smile was this: “She will always be remembered for her kuchen and gingersnap cookies.”

I’ll be making her kuchen (German for cake) in an upcoming video. 

My grandma, Carol, shared this ginger cookie recipe with me recently. She said it was one of her favorites that her mother made – along with Peppernut cookies (a post on that also coming soon.)

The recipe is below – and in the video, I scaled down the recipe by half so I wouldn’t have quite as many cookies to eat.

Ginger Cookies or Ginger Snaps
By Laura Berreth

  • 1 cup (201g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (143g) shortening
  • 1 egg (50g)
  • 1 cup (280) molasses, I use light
  • 2 tsp. soda
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 1/2 cups (420g) flour

Mix everything but the flour with a mixer, then add the flour and mix by hand, as it gets too thick for the mixer to handle.  Lightly form balls the size of a walnut, dip in sugar and put on a cookie sheet. 
Bake at 325 degrees about 13 minutes for a soft cookie like Mom used to make, also how I make them. If you bake them longer they will get hard, more like Ginger Snaps.

After baking these cookies, I’d have to say, they’re quite tasty. They are an acquired taste, however. You either love them or you don’t.
The cookies were soft in the middle and crunch on the sides right after baking. After sitting out, covered, for a few hours, they got more chewy.
If you’re not expecting that, it can be different. However, it is how I remember them when I had them at my grandma’s.

Baking Through History series:

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