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Grießnockerlsuppe (Semolina Dumpling Soup)

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Pronounced GREES-NOKE-ERL SOOPAY, this is a classic German soup that my Bavarian mother often made. I always loved the fluffiness of the dumplings, that are made with semolina flour, eggs, and lightly seasoned with a little nutmeg. My mother served this with her homemade chicken broth, but you can choose to serve this with beef or vegetable stock. I made a very dark chicken broth by roasting my vegetables until almost burned (about an hour), because the broth was very flavorful and took on a beautiful amber color. I will include how I made the broth, but you can use any broth recipe you like. Dumpling ecipe very slightly adapted from "lilvienna.com"

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Ingredients

  • SEMOLINA DUMPLINGS:
  • 5 1/2 (80-g) tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, room temperature, slightly beaten
  • 2/3 cups (130-g) semolina flour (I used Bob's Red Mill, semolina flour or you can use wheat farina, cream of wheat)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat parsley
  • 4 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock (about 4-cups)
  • Chopped chives to garnish
  • Optional: A few drops of Maggi seasoning sauce (German "soy sauce" that I can find in most supermarkets or at Cost Plus)
  • DARK ROASTED CHICKEN BROTH:
  • 2 pounds chicken wings or legs (or combo) or 1 whole chicken, cut up
  • 1 onion (just cut into quarters and don't worry about peeling)
  • 2 carrots (no need to peel)
  • 2 cloves garlic (unpeeled)
  • 2 teaspoons. whole peppercorns (I put mine into a tea "ball" to easily remove)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Herbs:
  • Small bunch of fresh parsley (about 1 dozen stalks)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • NOTE: I don't add salt to my chicken broth until I actually use it. That way, I can control the seasoning if I use it within a recipe.

Details

Servings 8
Preparation time 30mins
Cooking time 90mins
Adapted from afeastfortheeyes.net

Preparation

Step 1

For the dumplings:

Beat softened butter for about about 1 minute. (I used my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, but a hand mixer works, too.)

Gradually add half of the beaten eggs, then half of the semolina.

Add the remaining eggs, semolina, nutmeg, salt and parsley and mix until well combined. The mixture should be soft and creamy.

Put the batter into the fridge and let it rest for 15 minutes, so it gets firm. NOTE: Don't skip this step, as the dumpling "batter" is quite soft and you will struggle to shape the dumplings. Also, don't refrigerated for too long, or you'll have to stir it up again to get it to shape more easily.

To cook the dumplings:

Bring a wide pot of generously salted water to a boil.

Reduce temperature to medium-low. The water should simmer gently but not be boiling or the dumplings will fall apart.

Dip two tablespoons (to avoid sticking) into hot water and form tight, oval quenelles with the aid of 2 tablespoons, so they end up with three clear edges (I had better success with making two clear edges) and a smooth surface. (If this is too difficult, you can wet your hands and shape them. The important thing is that they need to be really tightly shaped. Don’t make them too big, as they will double in bulk.)

Drop the formed dumplings into the gently simmering water. If you are using a rather small pot, don't overcrowd it, because the dumplings will plump up.

Cook the dumplings in barely simmering water for 5 minutes. Reduce temperature to the lowest possible and let them steep for another 10 to 15 minutes. By now, they should have doubled in volume.

Try one dumpling, if it is still quiet firm in the center, let them steep for a couple more minutes. The dumplings should be soft but not mushy.

Meanwhile heat the stock. When the dumplings are done, transfer them with a slotted spoon into soup bowl. Add a ladle of stock and serve sprinkled with chopped chive.

For the chicken broth:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place into a roasting pan and add vegetables, onion and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, and mix with hands to coat. Roast for approximately 45 minutes, until everything has achieved a dark color.

If you don't own a pressure cooker (buy one!) then simmer this on a stove top for about an 90 minutes.

If using a pressure cooker:

Pour in 8 cups of water into the pot. Add all the roasted chicken and vegetables into the pot. Add the bay leaves and fresh parsley.

Lock on the lid, and pressure cook on HIGH for 35 minutes (or use the SOUP button).

When the PC beeps, do a quick pressure release.

Carefully strain the broth. The broth can be frozen for future use.

When serving the soup, we like to add a dash of the Maggi seasoning. It's just a generational German tradition!

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