Homemade knoephla soup, a hearty potato and dumpling soup with a creamy broth, carrots, and celery. The perfect comfort food for a chilly day.
Get ready for a cozy meal on chilly autumn and winter days with homemade knoephla soup. This heartwarming soup features homemade dumplings, potatoes, carrots, and celery in a creamy broth.
Find What You’re Looking for:
The recipe is very similar to the knoephla soup our Norwegian-American grandmother used to make. Our mom still makes it from time to time. While it’s not the exact recipe—as many of our family recipes like this are made from memory and dumped ingredients—it’s very close (and so delicious!).
If you’re looking for a warm, comforting lunch or dinner, this soup will surely hit the spot. Let’s get cooking.
🌾 What is knoephla? (also spelled ‘knephla or knefla’) Knoephla is a type of soft dumpling originating from German cuisine, but common in other cultures like Norwegian. These dumplings are typically made from a simple dough mixture of flour, water or milk, and salt. They are small and have a soft, chewy texture.
🍲 What is knoephla soup? Knoephla soup is a hearty broth and cream-based soup with potatoes and knoephla dumplings, often accompanied by carrots and celery. It’s a beloved dish popular in North Dakota and Minnesota, where many German and Scandinavian immigrants settled in the late 1800s.
Fun fact: you can find knoephla soup at Kroll’s diners in North Dakota. It’s the tastiest restaurant Knoephla, in our opinion.
What You’ll Need
Gather the ingredients and supplies you’ll need to make this hearty soup.
Here are the simple ingredients you’ll need to make the soup and the dumplings.
For the Soup
- Butter – regular salted or unsalted butter.
- Garlic – fresh cloves of garlic or minced garlic (find how much minced equals a clove)
- Onion – yellow or white onion.
- Chicken broth – low-sodium chicken broth.
- Potatoes – russet or red potatoes cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Carrots – carrot sticks, peeled and cut at a bias.
- Celery – stalks of celery, chopped.
- Salt – regular table salt or kosher salt.
- Black pepper – ground black pepper.
- Parsley – fresh chopped parsley.
- Heavy cream – heavy whipping cream.
- Flour – all-purpose flour.
For the Knoephla Dumplings
- Flour – all-purpose flour.
- Baking powder – regular baking powder.
- Salt – regular table salt.
- Eggs – whole eggs.
- Water – room temperature water.
Frozen Knoephla: you can find knoephla in the freezer section of some grocery stores, usually next to the frozen bread. But it is not available everywhere. Feel free to use frozen knoephla if you can find it and you want to save some time. But homemade dumplings are easy, delicious, and worth the little bit of extra time.
Supplies & Favorite Tools for Making Soups
- Cutting board/knife
- Medium mixing bowl and spoon
- Large pot or Dutch oven
- Spoon and whisk
- Serving bowls and spoons
How to Make Knoephla Soup
Follow these simple steps to make delicious, homemade soup.
Step 1 | Wash and chop all produce
Wash all produce and then 1) mince the garlic, 2) chop the onion and celery, 3) cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces, 4) peel the carrots and slice at a bias (diagonally), and 5) finely chop the parsley.
Step 2 | mix & Knead knoephla noodle dough
We like to mix and knead the dumpling dough before starting the soup so it is ready to go. Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Then add the water and eggs and mix well. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead the additional 1/4 cup of flour into the dough mixture. It should be easy to work with and no longer sticky. Set aside.
Step 3 | melt butter
In a large pot or Dutch oven, add the butter and heat until melted.
Step 4 | sauté onions and garlic
Add the chopped onions and minced garlic to the melted butter. Sauté until soft and fragrant.
Step 5 | Add broth, seasonings, veggies, and cream
Add the chicken broth, potatoes, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, parsley, and cream. Stir together.
Step 6 | Cook until potatoes and carrots are tender
Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer. Cook until the potatoes and carrots are tender.
Move on to step 7 while you are waiting for the veggies to cook.
Step 7 | roll and cut knoephla noodles
While the soup mixture cooks, roll and cut the knoephla dumplings. We like to divide the dough into six pieces. Then, roll each piece into a 1-inch wide rope. Finally, cut each rope into 1/2-inch wide dumplings.
Alternative method: roll the dough out with a rolling pin until it’s 1/2-inch thick. Then, cut into 1/2-inch by 1-inch pieces.
Step 8 | Add knoephla noodles to the soup
Once the potatoes and carrots are tender, carefully add the dumplings. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes until they are done.
To check dumplings for doneness, remove and cut through a dumpling to see if it is done. It should have a texture similar to a biscuit, not doughy. If needed, cook for another few minutes.
Step 9 | Mix flour slurry with broth and add
Now, we will use a flour slurry to thicken the soup using flour and broth. We like to save on dishes and fill a ladle with soup broth. Then add half of the flour (2 tbsp), whisk, and add to the soup. Continue to whisk it into the soup. Then repeat for the other 1/2 of the flour (2 tbsp).
Alternatively, you can ladle 1/2 cup of soup out into a bowl, add the flour (1/4 cup or 4 tbsp), and whisk. Then add to the soup and continue to whisk until it’s mixed in.
Step 10 | Cook until thickened
Once the flour slurry has been mixed in, allow the soup to cook for a few more minutes. It will thicken slightly (but will not be thick like a stew).
Step 11 | Serve and garnish
More About This Recipe – Why You’ll Love It
- The made-from-scratch knoephla dumplings (sometimes called noodles) in this soup are soft, chewy, and delicious. These bite-sized dumplings make this dish a filling and satisfying meal. Don’t let the fact that they are homemade scare you away from this recipe. They are super simple to make!
- The ingredients are so simple, you likely have everything you need on hand in the pantry and refrigerator. And if you don’t have all of the veggies, they are easy to swap out with others. Plus, you can customize them to your preferences.
- Knoephla soup makes a delicious lunch or dinner with the family. It’s also the perfect dish for a soup supper or potluck. We love to serve it with slices of bread, buns, or lefse for dipping.
Tips for Making Knoephla
Here are tips for making the best knoephla soup every time.
- Preparation is key: Before you start cooking, make sure all your produce is washed, chopped, and ready to go. This includes mincing the garlic, chopping the onion and celery, cutting the potatoes into bite-sized pieces, peeling and slicing the carrots, and finely chopping the parsley. Having everything prepared in advance will make the cooking process smoother.
- Homemade dumplings are worth it: Don’t be intimidated by making your own dumplings. The made-from-scratch knoephla dumplings in this soup are soft, chewy, and incredibly delicious. The extra effort is well worth the taste. Plus, they are quite simple to make.
- Customize the veggies: If you don’t have all the listed vegetables on hand, feel free to swap them out with others you have available. A bag of frozen mixed veggies will work as well. This recipe is flexible, and you can customize it to your preferences.
- Check dumpling doneness: When adding the dumplings to the soup, make sure to cook them for about 5 minutes or until they are done. You can check their doneness by removing and cutting one dumpling to see if it’s cooked. If not, continue cooking for another few minutes. Properly cooked dumplings should be soft and tender, but not doughy.
- Create a flour slurry for thickness: To thicken the soup, mix a portion of the soup broth with flour to create a slurry. You can do this by adding flour to a ladle filled with soup broth, whisking it until smooth, and then adding it back to the soup.
- Serve with bread or lefse: Knoephla soup pairs well with slices of bread, buns, or lefse for dipping. These options are perfect for soaking up the creamy broth.
- Garnish with fresh parsley: Before serving, garnish your knoephla soup with fresh parsley. This adds color and a hint of freshness to the dish, enhancing its overall presentation and flavor.
What to Serve with Knoephla Soup
- Fresh bread or lefse: Serve your knoephla soup with slices of fresh bread, homemade rolls, or lefse. These sides are perfect for dipping into the creamy soup.
- Salad: For a well-rounded meal, consider serving a simple salad on the side. A crisp green salad with a light vinaigrette dressing can provide a refreshing contrast to the soup’s richness.
- Cheese platter: To elevate your meal, prepare a cheese platter with various cheeses, crackers, and some fresh fruit. The cheese complements the soup and makes for a delightful pre- or post-soup snack.
- Fruit tray: Fresh fruit, such as apple slices or grapes, can offer a refreshing and sweet contrast to the savory soup. It’s a light and healthy option to balance out the richness of the dish.
Feel free to get creative and combine different ingredients to make this classic comfort food your own.
- Make it cheesy: Stir in a generous amount of shredded cheddar or Swiss cheese to the soup just before serving. The melted cheese adds a creamy, cheesy goodness.
- Bacon and chives: Crisp up some bacon bits and sprinkle them over the soup as a garnish along with freshly chopped chives—the smoky bacon flavor pairs wonderfully with potatoes and dumplings.
- Spice it up: Add a kick to your soup with red pepper flakes or diced jalapeños. Adjust the level of spiciness to your liking. A dash of hot sauce can also provide that extra heat.
- Add sausage: Brown some sausage, such as Italian or chorizo, and stir it into the soup for a meaty variation.
How to Store Leftovers
Leftover knoephla soup is even more delicious because the flavors have had time to combine, and the soup thickens just a bit more. So, if you have leftovers, you will want to hold on to them! Here’s how:
To store in the fridge: Allow the soup to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, transfer the soup into a well-sealed airtight container. Label the containers with the date for reference. You can store the leftovers in the refrigerator for about 3 to 4 days.
To store in the freezer: Alternatively, if you’d like to extend the shelf life, consider freezing portions of the soup in freezer-safe containers or resealable freezer bags. Properly frozen soup can maintain its quality for up to three months. When ready to enjoy your leftovers, thaw frozen soup in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a little broth or water to maintain the desired consistency.Print
For the Soup
- 1/4 cup butter
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 cup chopped onion (1 small to medium onion)
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup chopped celery (4 sticks)
- 4 cups potatoes (4 medium to large potatoes)
- 1 cup carrots (2 to 3 carrots)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp parsley (1 tbsp in soup, 1 tbsp garnish)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup flour
For the Knoephla Noodles
- 2 cups flour (+ 1/4 cup for kneading)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup water
- Wash and prep all produce. (Mince the garlic, chop the onion and celery, cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces, peel the carrots and slice at a bias, and finely chop the parsley.)
- Mix and knead knoephla dough. Combine 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Add egg and water. Mix well. Then transfer to wax paper or pastry board and knead with 1/4 cup flour until it is no longer sticky.
- In a large pot or dutch oven, melt the butter.
- Add onions and garlic to melted butter. Sauté until soft and fragrant.
- Next, add the broth, potatoes, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, parsley, and cream. Stir.
- Bring to a gentle boil then reduce to medium-low heat and cook until the potatoes and carrots are tender. (Move on step 7 while you wait.)
- Divide the knoephla dough into 6 sections and roll into 1-inch wide ropes. Then cut each rope into 1/2-inch by 1-inch pieces.
- Once the potatoes and carrots are tender, add the knoephla dumplings. Cook for 5 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked.
- Make a flour slurry to thicken the soup. Fill the ladle with soup broth. Then add half of the flour (2 tbsp), whisk, and add to the soup (continue to whisk into the soup.) Then repeat for the other 1/2 of the flour (2 tbsp).
- Allow the soup to cook for a few more minutes. It will thicken (but will not be thick like a stew).
- Serve and garnish with remaining parsley.
- Pair with slices of bread, buns, or lefse for dipping. Enjoy!
- An alternative method for rolling dumplings: roll the dough out with a rolling pin until it’s 1/2-inch thick. Then cut into 1/2-inch by 1-inch pieces.
- To test if dumplings are done: remove a dumpling and cut through it to see if they are done. It should not be doughy.
- Alternative flour slurry method: you can also ladle 1/2 cup of soup out into a bowl, add the flour, and whisk. Then add back to the soup and continue to whisk until mixed.
- Prep Time: 35 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: soup supper, potluck, knoephla, knoefla, knefla, dumpling and potato soup, fall, winter, comfort food
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to commonly asked questions about knoephla.
Can I make the dumplings (knoephla noodles) ahead of time and store them?
Yes, you can prepare the knoephla dumplings in advance and store them for later use. After making the dough and cutting into dumplings, you can place them on a floured baking sheet and freeze them until they are firm. Once frozen, transfer them to a resealable freezer bag or container. When you’re ready to use them, you can add the frozen dumplings directly to the boiling soup. There’s no need to thaw them first.
Can I make a gluten-free version of knoephla soup?
Absolutely! To make a gluten-free version of knoephla soup, substitute all-purpose flour in both the soup and dumpling recipe with a gluten-free flour blend. Additionally, ensure that all other ingredients you use, such as chicken broth and seasonings, are gluten-free certified.
Can I use half-and-half instead of heavy cream?
Yes, you can use half-and-half or even whole milk as a lighter alternative to heavy cream. Keep in mind that this substitution will result in a slightly less creamy texture, but it can be a good choice if you’re looking to reduce the calorie and fat content of the soup while still maintaining a rich flavor.
Knoephla soup is a cozy and satisfying meal. Whether it’s for lunch or dinner on a cold day or you’re taking it to a soup supper event, this potato and dumpling soup is a tasty choice. With helpful tips, serving ideas, and advice on storing leftovers, you now have everything you need to enjoy this comforting dish. We hope you enjoy!
Have You Tried This Recipe? Please rate it in the comments and let us know your thoughts!
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