If you like beef stew, you will love this beef soup. It is filled with beef and potatoes, and another wonderful ingredient: dumplings! In Germany, this is called Beef Spaetzle Soup and it is truly amazing. In one way, it’s a very simple soup to make; in another, the taste and texture of the dumplings set it apart from your average soup.
These dumplings (otherwise known as spaetzle) are easy and fun to make. Flour, milk, and eggs mixed together, then dropped by pieces into boiling water. The water cooks them almost immediately, they float to the surface, then you scoop them out and add them to the soup. These pieces of pasta add so much to the flavor and the texture of the soup, that you will want to eat one with every bite.
Beef Soup with Dumplings Recipe (Beef Spaetzle Soup)
Ingredients for Beef Soup with Dumplings:
- 2 pounds stew beef, cut in bite-sized pieces
- 6 potatoes, unpeeled and cubed
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups flour
- 5 eggs
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- 1 cup milk
Directions for making Beef Soup with Dumplings:
Place the beef, potatoes, onion, carrots, garlic, 3 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper in a large stew pot. Add enough water to come at least 4 inches over the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer, cover and cook for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Prior to adding the dumplings, taste the broth and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
Dumplings (spaetzle): When the soup is done (but still simmering on the stove), boil water in a separate large pot. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the ingredients for the dumplings (it will be thick). Using a sturdy and completely flat surface (a small cutting board works well). Rub water over the surface so the dumpling mixture will not stick. Put the mixture in a rectangular-shaped pile toward the end of the cutting board and, using a long knife, cut pieces from the dough (about ½ inch ribbons) and slide them off the end of the cutting board into the boiling water. Do a dozen or so at a time. When they float, they are done. Scoop them out with a large slotted spoon or cooking spider and transfer them to the soup pot. Cook the remainder of the dough in the same manner, transferring it to the soup pot. (Watch the attached video to see a demonstration.)
Serve the hot soup with a loaf of crusty bread.
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