Knödel vs Canederli
Another question you might also ask yourself: does this dumpling soup originally come from Germany or Italy?
Good one. Bread dumplings or Brotknödel, dumpling soup and Knödelsuppe are a staple of German cuisine. But then in Northern Italy you can find dumplings with speck in it which is a Tyrolean cured ham. Speck and bread dumplings are quite popular over there in Italy! People also call them canederli insteak of knödel.
Dumpling Soup with Speck (German)
That aside, I love this recipe because this dumpling soup is yet again a good example of how poor people used to turn old and stale ingredients and leftovers into warm and filling hearty dishes. Poor people’s food because that’s what this recipe is all about. Bread ‘meatballs’ with onion and ham for extra flavor, poached in a simple broth. It also reminds me a little of my tortellini in brodo soup.
You can also find these bread dumplings (without the broth of course) as a side dish for meat in Germany. Some are just plain bread dumplings, others can contain liver or spinach. You can buy them in every supermarket, no need to make them from scratch. You just need to reheat them, yum!
In northern Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria you can even find bread knödel as a main course – with or without sauerkraut. The dumplings are poached first and then pan fried in some butter. Put the bread dumplings on a deep plate, drizzle with the melted butter and finish with chopped chives and grated parmesan cheese.
- 7 oz stale white bread (200 g), diced
- 3,5 oz speck or bacon (100 g), chopped
- 3 tbsp onion chopped
- 1/3 cup whole milk (80 ml), warm
- 4 cups beef stock (920 ml)
- 2 tsp unsalted butter
- 1 oz plain flour (28 g)
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 1 small egg
- Melt the butter in a small pan and then add the chopped onion.
Gently fry the onion in the butter over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes until a little brown and soft. Then take the pan off the heat and let the onion cool a little. In the meantime add the diced bread and milk to a mixing bowl.
Also add the chopped speck (or bacon), the egg, chopped parsley and cooled onion. Then season the mixture with a good pinch of pepper and salt.
Stir well until all the ingredients are wet and moist. Then also add the flour.
- Stir well again. Check the seasoning and add extra pepper or salt to taste if necessary. Then cover the bowl with cling film and let the bread soak for about 15 minutes.
Pour the beef stock in a medium saucepan and bring it to a light simmer. Stir the bread and make 8 even firm balls of the mixture. Then poach the bread balls in the warm stock for about 20 minutes.
Divide the bread dumplings and broth evenly over deep plates. Serve hot.