As the offspring of a fourth-gen German-Russian farmer and a Norwegian mutt, I’ve grown up with an odd ethnic history. My dad’s family comes from south-central North Dakota, where the accents are thick, the kuchen is plenty, and Lawrence Welk is a hometown hero. My mom hails from a clan of Norwegian-Dutch-German-whatevers in Minnesota, and are used to solving problems by looking at them sideways. [Case in point: My grandfather once wanted to put in a culvert for his field, but the town council wouldn’t let him. So he got a license to buy dynamite, and a license to use dynamite, and let the council figure out what he’d do with them. Said culvert was promptly installed. 🙂 ]
So when I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance last December, and had to deal with crossing off most of my favorite foods from my menu, I decided to figure out a way around that pesky little issue. Partially because I hate to deprive my tastebuds, partially out of sheer rebellion, and partially because I need to eat, dangit, and I ain’t no rabbit!
Necessity is the mother of invention. Survival is a pretty big necessity.
As a result, I’ve become pretty good at whipping up soups, mostly because soup is easy to make and hard to screw up. And packs pretty easily in a lunchbox for work. So here’s my take on an old German staple – knoephla soup.
- 44 ounces of chicken broth (more or less)
- 4 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into spoon-size cubes
- Optional: 1/2 cup chopped celery
- Optional: 1 1/2-2 cups chopped carrots
- Optional: diced onion (to taste)
- Optional: 3 chicken breasts, cubed
- Sprinkle of Mrs. Dash, original spice blend (or your own mix)
- 3 cups GF flour or baking mix*
- 3 eggs
- 1 pint half-and-half
- In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, bring chicken broth to a boil.
- Add potatoes, chicken meat, veggies, and spices. Continue boiling.
- Mix the flour and eggs with just enough water to make a very thick sticky paste. This should be about the consistency of Play-Doh. [Note: You might need to get your hands dirty and knead this.]
- Pinch of bits of dough (no larger than 1/4 tsp) and drop into boiling stew. The dumplings will swell as they cook.
- Reduce heat and simmer until veggies are tender and meat is cooked.
- Turn off heat and add half-and-half. Pepper to taste.
- If broth isn’t thick enough to your liking, dissolve some cornstarch in milk and add. Stir ’til thickened.
Makes approximately 15 1-cup servings.
Note: For most of my soups and my cooking in general, I use a baking mix that is specially blended and packaged by a local bakery, Simply Savory. This mix has several different flours, and some xantham gum and sugar included. I haven’t tried this recipe with other GF flours (without the xantham), so you might need to experiment a bit to get the right flavor for your knoephla. If you do, let me know and I’ll add it to the recipe!