Friday, January 11, 2013

Hot Soup On A Cold Day....

Well yesterday I learned of an impending storm system moving into our area today and as a result school was closed this morning!   So not only did I have to put up with the kids today but the hubby was home as well.   He went to work early this morning only to come home two and a half hours later.   Another guy that also lives in Cando left his car at work and they both put their vehicles in the shop and took the 4 wheel drive pickup back to Cando.  It wasn't to nice out.

So tonight I thought I would make a hearty soup for supper.  A family favorite actually.  While I do have a recipe for it, I really only use it as a guide and most ingredients are not really measured out.   Don't you just love those kinds of recipes!

This is a traditional German soup recipe but I do change it a bit to make it a main dish.  Such as adding cooked, diced chicken breast to it add I add more celery, carrots and onion than the original recipe calls for.  I don't like my knoephla soup to be watery but like it full of diced veggies, potato chunks, cubes of chicken and plenty of dumplings of course!   

Knoephla Soup

Chicken Breast as much or as little as you want to add
4 tablespoons Butter which is a half a stick
Carrots ~ about 1/2 bag of a pound package of baby carrots
Celery Ribs ~ about 4 ribs, you can use more or less depending on what you have
1 large Onion (you can use medium or small if desired)
1 quart (4 cups) Water
4 Bouillon Cubes
2-6 Potatoes cut into bite size pieces
1-3 teaspoons Black Pepper
Salt To Taste
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1-2 cups Half and Half 

2 cups Flour
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Milk

Cook the chicken breast until it's cooked but not overcooked.  Overcooking the meat causes it to dry out.  When the meat is cooked, set it aside on a plate to rest a minimum of 5 minutes before dicing.  This helps keep the juices in the meat.

In a soup pot, melt butter.  While that is melting in a food processor chop the onion until it's finely chopped and add it to the melted butter and stir.   Next add your carrots and celery into food processor and chop until it's fine and add it to your soup pot.  Sir with the onions and let it cook for about 5 minutes.  If you don't have a food processor, finely chop the vegetables by hand, a food processor just makes it go faster and is much easier.

Add water and Bouillon cubes to pan and stir.  Cut your potatoes into bite size pieces and add them to the pot at this time.   Sir, add another cup or two of water if necessary.   Add diced chicken, pepper and salt if desired.  I happen to like mine heavy on the pepper.   

Make dough at this time and add it to the soup so the kneophla's (dumplings) can cook at the same time as the potatoes.  I usually use frozen dough pieces that my grocery store carries adding a half bag to my soup.  I thaw them on a cookie sheet in the oven that is set to 170` for a few minutes, just until they thaw. 

To make the dough, mix the dough ingredients and knead until smooth and elastic.   Lightly flour your counter and gently roll out the dough into a "rope" approximately 1" in diameter.  Use a pizza cutter or a scissors to cut the dough into 1" pieces.   Or you can roll it out flat and use a pizza cutter to cut them into 1x1 inch cubes.    As you cut them put them into the soup to cook.  Let them simmer until cooked.

Once the potatoes and dumplings are cooked add a can of cream of chicken soup.  Mushroom or celery can also be used if you don't have the chicken soup.  Also add 1-2 cups half and half depending on your own personal preference.  I use 1 cup saving the other cup for another soup.  I also buy the fat free version!    Stir well, heat until hot and serve.


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