Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Recipe From Back Home

Last night we had roast chicken for supper, and I threw the bones into the pot for soup. I had chicken corn chowder in mind, but when I reached for my recipe box I pulled out the recipe for knephla soup instead.

Knephla (pronounced nef-la) are little dumplings, and this soup is a local favorite in the Great Frozen North where I grew up. No surprise, since it seems to have both German and Scandinavian roots.

Knephla soup is perfect for a brisk fall day or a cold winter's eve. In fact, it's one of my favorite things to serve on Christmas Eve. Add a little salad, some fresh hot bread, and a good chunk of cheese, and you've got a meal that is as easy as it is delicious.

Don't let the name scare you off. If you like chicken noodle soup, you'll like this soup, too. I promise!

Knephla Soup
6 potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 medium onions, chopped
1 rib of celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/3 C. butter
5 C. chicken stock
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
2-3 Tbsp. chives
1 13-oz. can evaporated milk
salt and pepper to taste

Knephla: 1 C. flour, 1 egg, 1/2 C. water

In a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, saute onion in butter until soft. Add celery and carrot and saute for a few more minutes. Add potatoes, chicken stock and parsley. Boil until veggies are tender. Add milk and chives.

Mix knephla ingredients and return soup to a boil. Spoon TINY dollops -- 1/2 tsp. or less -- of knephla dough, which is a little thicker in consistency than pancake batter, into boiling soup until dough is gone or you're tired of making knephla.

Be warned, this makes a lot of knephla, but don't be tempted to make them bigger unless you like tough, doughy dumplings. And keep in mind that these little dumplings are delicious, so if you wimp out early you may regret it! I usually stop making knephla when I can no longer easily drop the dough straight into the boiling liquid. If your dollops of dough sit on top of other dumplings, they won't cook fast enough to be tender.

If you have kids who are old enough to help, they will have a blast dropping knephla dough into the soup and watching the dumplings pop up to the surface.

Simmer at least 10 minutes more.

The soup can be thickened with cornstarch and water after the milk is added. If you want a heartier soup, you can add 1/2 - 1 C. chopped, cooked chicken with the milk and chives.

I like to make this and then transfer it to my crock pot to simmer on low all day. As it simmers, the soup will thicken, so if you plan to simmer a long time, hold off on the cornstarch and see if you need it when you are ready to serve.



Gretchen said...

If you are lucky enough to still live in the frozen north, you will probably be able to find the knephlas in your grocer's freezer section! Thank you for the recipe!!

Kathryn said...

I don't twitter, and I'm not a parent (yet), but I do have a response to your "What you never thought you'd say" tweet that I think is pretty cute.

I have a friend who has a 16 month old daughter. Yesterday at lunch he told her, quite seriously "That's not a hat. That's a sandwich." :)

The recipe is one I'll definitely have to try!

Betsy said...

I remember making knephla (dumplings) with my grandma when I was little. A favorite of my family. We make it as a side (just dumplings in boiling chicken stock) for every holiday!

Suzy said...

This sounds fantastic! Will definitely try it ... someday. ;)

Emily & Ed said...

Haven't had this kind of soup since I was a kid and a local restaurant was famous for it. Never had the recipe and now I do.
can't wait to try it myself at home!

Thanks Christy