Gluten-free knoephla soup

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.

Old-fashioned comfort food.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  1. In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, bring chicken broth to a boil.
  2. Add potatoes, chicken meat, veggies, and spices. Continue boiling.
  3. 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.]
  4. Pinch of bits of dough (no larger than 1/4 tsp) and drop into boiling stew. The dumplings will swell as they cook.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer until veggies are tender and meat is cooked.
  6. Turn off heat and add half-and-half. Pepper to taste.
  7. 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!

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About C.N. Wolf

Vaguely humanoid, often inquisitive, moderately bizarre. Also called a writer. View all posts by C.N. Wolf

4 responses to “Gluten-free knoephla soup

  • Aubri

    You. Are. My. HERO!!! 😀 I grew up in north-central ND, and am now living very far from home in the pacific northwest. My sad little celiac self has been missing knoephla soup. You have saved me from dying of self-pity! Thank you!

    • C.N Wolf

      I recently developed dairy issues as well, and started substituting the half-and-half with coconut milk and a bit of cornstarch to thicken it up. Smells a little odd when you’re cooking it up, but tastes nummy!

  • jim

    used bisquik G/F and the knoephlas formed good but eventually dissolved lesson learned

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