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I want to share one of my favorite childhood comfort foods with you. Knoephla Soup is simply the best. It is of German origin and a Swabian classic dish. This Knoephla Soup recipe comes from the heart of my Grandmother’s kitchen and I hope Doris can impart a bit of that love on your family. 

A bowl of Knoephla Soup with parsley sprinkled on top and french bread in the background

Knoephla soup is one of those recipes that both tastes delicious and brings me back to childhood. If you don’t know what knoephla soup is, you are in for a treat. If you do, this recipe is really a great from-scratch take on the classic German recipe that you know, love, and is part of our knoephla soup series. Try out this rich, buttery, creamy traditional German soup today and make some Knoephla soup!

What Is Knoephla Soup?

It is a chicken-based dumpling soup that has cream, butter, and a few different vegetables. Typically, you will find potatoes, carrots, and celery in the soup. Then, there are the dumplings, which make it Knoephla Soup. We previously wrote about the origins and history of German Knöpfle dumplings and this soup, so that can give you a good historical context.

If I were to plainly describe it, I would say it is a fat-filled, creamy, dumpling soup. Knoephla soup is hearty, tasty, and hits many comfort food check boxes. This is not a light recipe, although some changes could be made to lighten it up a bit. None of those changes I would recommend. 😉

Memories of Knoephla Soup

On a personal note, I have very fond memories of this soup. I know that many people looking at food blogs don’t want to hear the story and usually, I do not include stories. This one is different, as this soup holds a place in my heart. Scroll to the bottom if you just want to get to the recipe.

I cooked this soup with my grandmother, Doris, and remember being a young kid trying to help her make this soup. Food can bring people to a time-place and this brings me to my grandma’s kitchen in the early 1980s. I can imagine the first time I cooked this with her and visualize everything about their kitchen in Enderlin, North Dakota.

Not only does this recipe bring me closer to my loved ones that are no longer here, but I think it provides a connection with my heritage and the world. I am celebrating a dish that my ancestors made. Other people in my region are doing the same thing. When make knoephla, I feel like I am creating connections with my heritage and I hope I can share some of those feelings with you. 

Me sharing this recipe with you maybe will inspire you to make it and we can have that connection. Just you, me, and Doris sharing this bond through food. No matter our backgrounds and how different we think we are, food is something we all share. A great dish can bring unlikely people together. Who knows. Perhaps, our bond will extend to your family when they taste this lovely soup.

Use Homemade Chicken Stock If You Can

We just got done sharing our Chicken Stock recipe and I would recommend using this, or a similar, recipe to make the best soup. I also understand that this could take some time and the boxed chicken stock is a reasonable substitute. If you do substitute your chicken stock, remember that your final product will be reflective of the ingredients you choose. If you pick a higher quality store-bought chicken stock, you are going to have a better soup.

Flour Roux For Thickening

This is not necessary, but I like to make my broth nice and thick. The flour dumplings and a rich stock are going to help with this, but one thing I like to do is to add some flour at the beginning, as well. If I make a little roux at the beginning, it can help create a knoephla soup that is thick and delicious.

The Dumplings

The dumpling recipe is relatively straightforward and requires only a few ingredients. These can be made while your potatoes and veggies are cooking. In my instructions, I roll them out, but I gotta tell you my occasional cheat. I will mix the ingredients in the bowl and instead of rolling them out, I will take a small spoon and when the time is appropriate, just spoon them up and dump them in the soup.

This only saves a few minutes and there are a few drawbacks. Since I am adding the dumplings over a longer interval, I do get some inconsistent cook times. Additionally, the size of the dumplings isn’t uniform which can have an impact on both cooking time and how big they are.

To be safe, just roll out your dumplings, but in the future just keep these small timesavers in your pocket for thought.

Knoephla Soup Leftovers Are The Best

Sometimes I think about making this soup and then just putting it in the fridge overnight because the leftovers are THAT good. I think what happens is that the flour from the dumplings sort of invades the rest of the soup and you get this super nice, thick dumpling soup. I absolutely adore knoephla soup leftovers and wouldn’t even consider making this soup without an expectation that I am making enough for leftovers.

Vegetables I use in this soup

Veggies in soup pot with flour to make roux

Mixing knoephla dumpling dough in a white mixing bowl

Rolled out Knoephla dough before we cut them into dumplings
Yeah, they are ugly. lol. I wanted to show what they looked like prior to cutting so you could get a sense as to the shape.

cut raw dumplings before being put in soup.

 

Overhead view of two bowls of knoephla soup. There is a cutting board with some french bread on it.

Tips For Making This Recipe

  • Using homemade chicken stock will give the best results, but boxed works well, as well. 
  • If you are running short on time, you can shorten the cooking process by not rolling out the dough and using a spoon to quickly make the dumplings. I recommend rolling, but I do this shortcut occasionally.
  • Frozen dumplings would be fine for saving time, but homemade is better!

Products I Used In This Recipe

Did You Try This Recipe?

I am so glad you gave it a try or are going to. It is a very popular soup in my region and one of the dishes of my life I adore.  If you like what we are doing here, please take a minute to subscribe to get updates via email, follow me on Instagram, and follow me on Pinterest. Let us know how your cook went in the comment area below and give us a rating. 

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A bowl of Knoephla Soup with parsley sprinkled on top and french bread in the background

Knoephla Soup Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 25 reviews
  • Author: Ben Myhre
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 Hour
  • Yield: 8 Bowls 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Boil
  • Cuisine: German
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Description

If you need a delicious, comforting, creamy, dumpling soup, Knoephla Soup is right up your alley. This German dish is very popular in some regions of the upper midwest and when you try it, you will know why.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 Celery Stocks, chopped
  • 4 Carrots, Chopped
  • 1/4 Cups flour
  • 4 Medium Potatoes, Chopped
  • 8 Cups Chicken Stock
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

For Dumplings:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 Teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. In large pot, add butter and put on low to allow butter to melt
  2. Once melted, add carrots and celery
  3. Cook on low for 5 minutes
  4. Stir in 1/4 cup flour
  5. Add 1 cup of Chicken Stock to the soup and mix to incorporate the flour
  6. Add rest of stock
  7. Add potatoes
  8. Turn to medium-high and cook until potatoes are tender (about 30-40 minutes)
  9. While potatoes are cooking make dumplings
  10. Mix all dumpling ingredients in a bowl and combine well
  11. Divide into two pieces just to make easier to work with
  12. Roll each piece out with your hand so it is approximately 1 inch in diameter and like a rope
  13. If needed sprinkle with flour to make easier to work with
  14. cut into 1-inch dumpling pieces and set aside.
  15. Add any needed salt to the soup.
  16. Once potatoes are tender, add dumplings to soup
  17. Cook for 5 minutes
  18. Remove from heat
  19. Add cream and stir
  20. serve

Notes

  • Using homemade chicken stock will give the best results, but boxed works well, as well.
  • If you are running short on time, you can shorten the cooking process by not rolling out the dough and using a spoon to quickly make the dumplings. I recommend rolling, but I do this shortcut occasionally.
  • Frozen dumplings would be fine for saving time, but homemade is better!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/8 Total
  • Calories: 414 Calories
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Sodium: 1892 mg
  • Fat: 20 g
  • Saturated Fat: 11 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 2 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 47 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 11 g
  • Cholesterol: 102 mg

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78 Comments

  1. I’m from ND and unfortunately I won’t be able to make it home for Christmas this year. I decided I wanted to make this soup myself as I was feeling a bit homesick. It turned out amazing! I can’t wait to make it again and I’m glad I have this recipe on hand for whenever a craving hits! THANK YOU!






    1. I am SOOOO glad I was able to help bring a small bit of home for you during these wierd times! For me, on a recipe like this, it is the most I could ask for and makes me super happy you liked it Cherisse. Have a great Christmas.

  2. This is a family favorite and perfect comfort food! My German mother in law adds onion! My family is also from Enderlin ND. Lots of Norwegians there!






    1. Hi there! Thanks for commenting and visiting. My great grandparents on that side settled there because of the trains. Then, I inherited Knoephla and Lefse. 😉

    1. You could do veggie stock, but I think I would recommend a brand called Better than Bouillon Vegetarian No Chicken Base. It is salty, but really does a great job of a substitute.

  3. Made this for my mom who is German. She is 92 and had to move in with us because she can’t take care of herself anymore. I made this for her and it made her so happy. Brought back a lot of memories for her.






    1. This makes me SO SO happy and I am happy you were able to share this with your mother! Wish her well. 🙂

  4. All is can say is WOW and SOOOO DELICIOUS!!! I Had a family dinner last night ,and I just felt like making a homemade soup that was comforting, filling, and easy to make!! Well, I got exactly what I I was looking for!! I made this soup exactly the instructions say, I even watched your step by step video, just to make sure, and OMG it honestly came out PERFECT!! I made it earlier in the day, and just let the flavors sit in the pot , kept it warm , it thickened up even
    a little more , and served it when we were ready to eat a few hours later. My family absolutely LOVED this soup, and even more so they were so impressed that I even made the dumplings lol.. 😋. Thank you so much for sharing this delicious soup recipe. I searched so many recipes for the perfect one, and I’m so happy I picked yours!!🥰😋






    1. This is such a lovely review! Thank you so much and I am so happy that you and your family loved it. This made my day. 🙂

  5. We creep to the evening of days with our empty fists clenched skyward, raging against Venus’s tightening belt. The desolate shriek “Take arms!”, and the smith forges a mighty break to shatter the icy shackles.

    Denise made this for me and it was soooo good!! Can’t find it in my neck of the Sconnie woods 🙁






    1. LOL! Glad you guys liked it and thanks for giving it a try. If you have leftovers… it gets better.

  6. Never knew what this family soup was called. We have it all the time. The only addition is we add bacon. Usually 7-8!cooked crunchy pieces crumbed up and some of the grease. It has been in the family for years. Love it. Thank you for giving it a name

  7. Oh. My. God! I came here from a recipe a friend shared (for the German ravioli?) and you mentioned these. I thought to myself, this LOOKS like the recipe I have from my German side. They called them “knepplies”. Which I’m SURE could be passed down incorrectly or mispronounced over the years. Ours is nearly identical (the dumplings) but (originally) the recipe calls for it to be cut into boiling water and then scooped into ham and noodle soup. I like to cut them into the soup (I always do chicken) because it gives it a little extra flavor. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this recipe and history!

  8. Hi Ben,
    Although I have lived in ND my entire 53 years, I’ve always wanted to make This yummy soup, but never have. This will be my first try at making Knoepla Soup. Your recipe sounds delicious. I was wondering if this soup freezes well?
    Thank you!

    1. Born in Bismarck! 🙂 TBH, I have never froze this recipe before… one of my favorite parts is leftovers and I think it gets even better after a day or two. That said, I suspect this should freeze alright. I would be a little concerned about the dumplings and cream in this soup, but I think it should make it in the freezer fine.

  9. Everyone loved this recipe. I was lazy and used frozen spaetzle but this was so so good. Thank you! My German relatives gave me the most vague recipes, devoid of actual measurements. This tasted like what they make, maybe better (don’t tell them).