German Potato Dumpling Soup {Kartoffelknödel Suppe}

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Looking for a hearty and comforting soup that’s perfect for any occasion? Look no further than this delicious German Potato Dumpling Soup recipe!

Made with tender potato dumplings, succulent chicken thighs, and a good dose of veggies and spices, this soup is sure to satisfy your cravings and warm you up on even the coldest of days. It’s a delicious and filling potato dumpling soup for winter nights or even outdoor winter events where you can share it with others!

A side view of a white bowl filled with German Potato Dumpling Soup, sitting on a wooden surface.

With the long Maine winters we have up here, there’s nothing quite like a warm and comforting bowl of soup to ward off the cold. And if you’re in the mood for something hearty and satisfying, you can’t go wrong with a classic German Potato Dumpling Soup.

What Is ‘Potato Dumpling’ In German?

Here’s a quick German lesson for ya!

Potato = Kartoffel

Dumpling = Knödel (pronounce both the “k” and the “n” and then round your mouth for the “o” like you are yodeling.) Can also be called “klöße”. The funny-looking “b” is actually an “s” sound.

Soup = Suppe

Put it all together, and you’ve got Kartoffelknödel Suppe! (or Kartoffelklöße suppe)

Here’s a sound file if you want to hear it.

The History of German Potato Dumpling Soup

Potatoes have a long and storied history in Germany. Originally brought over from the Americas in the 16th century, they quickly became a staple crop in Germany due to their hardiness and ability to grow in a wide range of soil types.

Over time, the humble potato became a cornerstone of German cuisine, appearing in everything from stews and casseroles to salads and soups.

Today, this rustic potato dumpling soup with fluffy dumplings is enjoyed across Germany and around the world. And with its comforting and delicious flavors, it’s easy to see why. Recipes differ from region to region and from household to household. This is not necessarily the most traditional German potato dumpling soup recipe. It’s my personal version of this timeless classic with a little input from my Oma, may she rest in peace.

An overhead view looking down into a white bowl filled with German Potato Dumpling Soup.

What Is A German Dumpling Made Of?

Typically, they are made of mashed potatoes that have flour (or starch for those who are gluten-free), egg yolks, salt, pepper, and maybe some other spices mashed into them as well. The spices will depend on your soup, for the most part. You obviously will want complimentary spices so that your soup and dumpling flavors pair well together. But the good news is, you can add potato dumplings to just about any soup! All you have to do is use spices that go well with whatever soup you are making!

The Best Potatoes For German Potato Dumpling Soup

The best potatoes to use are going to be russet potatoes. However, that being said, you can pretty much use any potato you want to use. Yukon gold potatoes work well. Even sweet potatoes will work (though, maybe not in this recipe). I used small fingerling potatoes for this and they worked just fine. Any potato will do!

Serving Suggestions

Want to make this easy German potato dumpling soup for a crowd? You can easily double the recipe! And here are some ideas for what to serve with it.

You can also serve just the dumplings with gravy over the top. Many people love to stuff the dumplings as well. Mushrooms and onions are always a good bet. Though for this, you’ll want to make them a bit bigger than you would for soup. These are delicious with a little butter melting over the top under the hot gravy. Yum!

A closeup of a white bowl filled with German Potato Dumpling Soup.

Recipe Variations

Some people prefer to make a hearty potato dumpling soup with bacon. It’s not uncommon in Germany to find this, though their bacon is different than our American bacon. So keep that in mind if you are thinking about adding bacon to your soup.

If you want to make this more of a Creamy potato dumpling soup with savory flavors, you can add a bit of heavy cream (as much as you like) or even a dollop or two of plain Greek yogurt.

Adjusting The Dumpling Texture

Generally speaking, the recipe ratio is a half cup of starch per one pound of potatoes. However, you can make the following adjustments to this recipe to get the dumpling texture you prefer.

Soft Dumplings – Use a half cup of starch. This will give you very soft, pillowy dumplings that tend to melt in your mouth. In fact, some of them will melt into your soup as well. They are extremely soft.

Medium Firmness – Use one cup of starch. This will give you a middle-of-the-road firmness that is easy to chew.

Firm Dumplings – Use one and a half cups of starch. This is what most people are accustomed to, and it gives you a nice firm dumpling that will not fall apart. It has a bit of chew and holds together well. This amount is what the recipe below calls for.

About The Ingredients

Salt Water

Salt – Whatever type you normally cook with.

Filtered water – Use good drinking water. Tap water will affect the flavor of the soup in most areas due to chlorine content.

Dumplings

Potatoes – These can be pretty much any type of potato. Russet potatoes work best, but anything will work here.

Starch – You can use potato starch, cornstarch, or even arrowroot powder.

Egg yolks – These are the yolks of large eggs. They can be cold or room temperature. Whatever you have handy.

Dried thyme

Salt – I used pink Himalayan salt, but you can use whatever you normally cook with.

Ground black pepper

Soup

Carrots – Slice them relatively thin.

Celery – Slice this thin.

Red onion – Chop fine. A small cut will give the best texture in the soup.

Oil – Any light-flavored oil you feel comfortable cooking with. I used coconut oil.

Peppercorns

Chicken thighs – Chicken breasts work as well. You can put the chicken in the broth in whole pieces and shred after cooking, or you can cut it into bite-sized pieces. The choice is yours.

Bay leaves – Remember to remove and discard these after cooking.

Dried marjoram

Ground rosemary

Garlic cloves – You can use a garlic press or finely mince these.

Chicken broth – no sugar or dextrose added. Low sodium is best.

Vegetable broth – No added sugar. Low sodium is best.

Filtered water – Use water you are comfortable drinking from a glass.

How To Make German Potato Dumpling Soup: A Step-by-Step Recipe

Prep – Salt Water

Potatos and salt in a pot of water.
Placing a lid on a pot of salt water and potatoes.

Start by bringing your raw potatoes to a boil in a large pot of salted water. When these are done, you’ll want to drain them and let them cool to a temperature you can handle without burning yourself.

Slicing carrots on a wooden cutting board.

While the potatoes cook, chop all the vegetables and measure out any remaining ingredients.

Soup

Adding oil to a soup pot.

Add oil to a large soup pot.

Raw, sliced carrots, celery and onions in oil in a large soup pot.
Adding peppercorns to sautéd veggies in a soup pot.

Add the celery, carrots, and onions to the pot. Sauté them in the pot until the onions start to turn a light golden brown. Halfway through sautéing the veggies, stir in the peppercorns.

Pressing fresh garlic into a soup pot through a garlic press.

Once the veggies are about a minute away from being done, add in the pressed or minced garlic. Sauté that with the veggies, stirring constantly, for 1 minute (so the garlic doesn’t burn)

Adding broth for the German potato dumpling soup to a large soup pot.

Add the chicken broth, vegetable broth, and water to the pot.

Putting raw chicken into broth in a large soup pot to make German potato dumpling soup.

Add the raw chicken thighs.

Putting bay leaves into broth in a soup pot.
Bay leaves, ground black pepper and ground rosemary floating in a pot of broth, veggies and chicken.

Finally, add the spices. Stir and bring back to a gentle boil.

The German Potato Dumplings

Peeling cooked and cooled potatoes.

While the pot bubbles, peel the warm potatoes.

Mashing potatoes in a pot with a fork to make German potato dumpling soup.

Mash the cooked potatoes with a fork or potato masher.

Adding egg yolks to smashed potatoes in a pot.
Seasonings and starch added to egg yolks and smashed potatoes in a pot.

Once the potatoes are mashed, add in the egg yolks and seasoning.

The finished smashed potatoes sitting in a pot.

Mix well until you have a well-blended dumpling dough.

A spoon picks up a small amount of the smashed potatoes to form a dumpling for this German potato dumpling soup.

For softer dumpling dough, you’ll want to spoon small dumpings into the pot of boiling broth. For firmer dumpling dough, you can roll small dumplings by hand.

Dumplings floating at the top of a boiling pot of German Potato Dumpling Soup.

Once you drop the last dumpling in, continue to boil for 5 minutes more. All the dumplings should have raising to the top of the pot in this time.

A white bowl sitting on a wooden surface, filled with German Potato Dumpling Soup.

Cool the soup a bit, season with any extra salt you want, and serve.

Storing German Potato Dumpling Soup

This will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Freezing German Potato Dumpling Soup

This can be frozen, but the dumplings may fall apart just a bit upon thawing. Pack well and freeze for up to 4 months.

Reheating German Potato Dumpling Soup

From frozen – Thaw overnight in the fridge or defrost in a microwave before warming.

From fridge – Reheat in a pot on the stovetop or in a microwave-safe bowl in a microwave.

Recipe Supplies

For this recipe, you’ll need 2 large pots, a cutting board, a good knife, a ladle, and a medium or large mixing bowl. To get to some of these items on Amazon, simply click the images here. (Affiliate links)

Large soup pot sold on Amazon. (Affiliate llink)
Wooden cutting board sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)
Chef knife sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)

More Potato Soup Recipes

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Warm And Comforting German Potato Dumpling Soup Recipe Card + Video

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An overhead view looking down into a white bowl filled with German Potato Dumpling Soup.

German Potato Dumpling Soup Recipe

A delicious, hearty soup that will warm you up on a chilly evening.
4 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: German
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 18 servings
Calories: 265kcal

CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!

Equipment

  • 1 Large soup pot
  • 1 Large boiling pot

Ingredients

Salt Water

  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • water (enough to fill the large pot)

Dumplings

  • 3 lb. potatoes (any kind you prefer)
  • cup starch (see suggestions above)
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp. dried thyme
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper

Soup

  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • ½ cup finely diced or grated red onion
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp. peppercorns
  • lbs. chicken thighs
  • 4 medium bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp. dried marjoram
  • 1 tbsp. ground rosemary
  • 8 large garlic cloves (pressed or minced)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (no sugar or dextrose added)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups filtered water

Instructions

Salt Water

  • Start by bringing your potatoes to a boil in a large pot of salted water. When these are done, you'll want to drain them and let them cool to a temperature you can handle without burning yourself.
    Potatos and salt in a pot of water.
  • While the potatoes cook, chop all the vegetables and measure out any remaining ingredients.
    Slicing carrots on a wooden cutting board.

Soup

  • Add oil to a large soup pot.
    Adding oil to a soup pot.
  • Add the celery, carrots, and onions to the pot. Sauté them in the pot until the onions start to turn a light golden brown.
    Raw, sliced carrots, celery and onions in oil in a large soup pot.
  • Halfway through sautéing the veggies, stir in the peppercorns.
    Adding peppercorns to sautéd veggies in a soup pot.
  • Once the veggies are about a minute away from being done, add in the pressed or minced garlic. Sauté that with the veggies, stirring constantly, for 1 minute (so the garlic doesn't burn)
    Pressing fresh garlic into a soup pot through a garlic press.
  • Add the chicken broth, vegetable broth, and water to the pot.
    Adding broth to a large soup pot.
  • Add the raw chicken thighs.
    Putting raw chicken into broth in a large soup pot.
  • Finally, add in the spices. Stir and bring back to a gentle boil.
    Bay leaves, ground black pepper and ground rosemary floating in a pot of broth, veggies and chicken.

Dumplings

  • While the pot bubbles, peel the warm potatoes.
    Peeling cooked and cooled potatoes.
  • Mash the cooked potatoes with a fork or potato masher.
    Mashing potatoes in a pot with a fork.
  • Once the potatoes are mashed, add in the egg yolks and seasoning.
    Seasonings and starch added to egg yolks and smashed potatoes in a pot.
  • Mix well until you have a well-blended dumpling dough.
    The finished smashed potatoes sitting in a pot.
  • For softer dumplings, you'll want to spoon small dumpings into the pot of boiling broth. For firmer dumplings, you can roll small dumplings by hand.
    A spoon picks up a small amount of the smashed potatoes.
  • Once you drop the last dumpling in, continue to boil for 5 minutes more. All the dumplings should have raising to the top of the pot in this time.
    Dumplings floating at the top of a boiling pot of German Potato Dumpling Soup.
  • Cool the soup a bit, season with any extra salt you want, and serve.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.05g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 729mg | Potassium: 535mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2635IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2mg

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4 Comments

  1. This looks great. Is there a reason the potatoes aren’t peeled before cooking? Another thought is, could potatoes be baked and and scooped for dumpling’s?

    1. Jacki – That’s just the way I do it. You can cook the potatoes any way you want to cook them. 🙂

  2. Mary Alyce says:

    Do you leave the chicken on the bone when serving or remove from bone when soup is done and before serving?

    1. Mary – Whatever works best for you is fine. I used boneless skinless thighs, so I didn’t have bones to remove.