chicken soup with German-style dumplings

This recipe was inspired by my family’s recipe for kniflas, which is an onion-based soup with potatoes and egg-batter dumplings.  One branch of my family tree originates from German ancestors who lived in Russia, immigrated to America and settled in South Dakota.  Kniflas is a rustic dish that is a popular comfort food among descendents of Germans from Russia, and I’ll be sure to devote a future post to it.

Today, I set out to make chicken noodle soup and decided to make a variation using the egg-batter dumplings that my aunts taught me how to make for the kniflas dish.  The dumplings come together quickly and add an extra touch of comfort-foodie-ness to the chicken soup.  🙂

chicken soup with German-style dumplings

makes 5 bowls of soup


1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, finely diced

3 carrots, peeled and diced

3 ribs of celery, diced (include the delicious leaves, if any are still attached)

1 bay leaf

1 quart (4 cups) chicken broth (homemade, if available)

2 chicken breasts, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces

3 eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

handful of Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped


Heat the butter and olive oil in a Dutch oven or medium stock pot over medium-high heat.  Once the butter is melted, add the onion, stir to coat it with the fats and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Let the onion cook on its own for 1 minute.  Then, add the carrots and celery, stir and season with salt and pepper.  Let the mirepoix (onion, carrots and celery) cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the aromatics are slightly softened.

Add the bay leaf, chicken slices and broth to the pot.  Reduce heat to medium, cover and let the soup simmer until the chicken is cooked through.

Prepare the dumpling batter while the chicken cooks in the soup.  Combine the eggs, flour and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl and stir the ingredients until a thick, golden batter forms.  It should look like this:

Check the soup to see if the chicken slices are cooked through.  Bring the soup to a boil and then drop the heat slightly, to medium-high.  Working quickly, use two teaspoons to drop half-spoonfuls of the batter into the boiling soup.  The dumplings will rise to the top when they are cooked through, and this only takes a minute or so.

Use a second teaspoon to push the batter into the boiling soup (similar to making drop cookies).

The dumplings will rise to the surface once they are cooked through.

Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings to taste.  Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley.  Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

mmm, comfort food


4 responses to “chicken soup with German-style dumplings

  1. This looks great. I adore chicken soup with dumplings, I like to put a little grated onion and butter in mine 🙂

  2. @Feeding Time: Thanks! Grated onion sounds like a tasty addition. I was thinking I’d try adding a splash of milk next time to make the dumplings more like spaetzle. This soup is already a spin-off recipe, so I suppose it wouldn’t be too sacreligious to tinker with what goes into the dumpling batter. (Don’t tell my aunts! haha)

  3. Angela Wawrzynaik

    After my husband saw the picture of your “knifla soup,” he decided I should put extra ‘stuff’ in mine! And I thought he liked the ‘original’!! Your pictures do look very appetizing…I guess I might have to “tinker” with my recipe too!

  4. Angela: It’s the kniflas of a new generation! I make the “original” using chicken broth, not water — it’s a bit too “rustic” with just water! I’ve also just boiled the dumplings in plain water, strained them and tossed them with butter and chopped parsley. Yum! Variations on a really good thing!

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