Knoephla Soup (German Potato Soup with Dumplings)


Molly Yeh’s simple and hearty take on the traditional meatless German soup is filled with dense, chewy and satisfying knoephla dumplings. 

German Chicken Soup with Dumplings
Photo: © Molly Yeh
Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs
8 to 10

Knoephla is a type of German dumpling used in soups. They are used in this soup, which is meatless but still rich and hearty from the dumplings, potatoes, and cream. Knoephla soup made its way to the U.S. via German immigrants who settles in the upper Midwest, especially Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. If you like, add some chopped dill or scallions to the soup as a garnish.



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Pinch of black pepper

  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 2 large carrots, finely chopped

  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 7 cups chicken or vegetable stock or low-sodium broth

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


Make the knoephla

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk flour with baking powder, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add 6 tablespoons of water and mix with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Transfer dough to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour.

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll dough into a 1/2-inch-thick rope, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer knoephla to prepared sheet and cover with a damp kitchen towel.

Make the soup

  1. Melt butter in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Add onion, carrots and celery and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in stock, bay leaves and potatoes and bring to a boil. Add knoephla, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until knoephla are puffed and cooked through, about 30 minutes. Stir in cream and season with salt and pepper. Discard bay leaves and serve.

Make Ahead

You can freeze a batch of this soup before adding the cream. Let soup cool and transfer to freezer safe containers. Freeze for up to three months; defrost in the microwave or overnight in the refrigerator, and then reheat in the microwave or on the stove.

Dumplings can be made in advance, stored in a ziplock bag and frozen. Add dumplings to soup from frozen and simmer until cooked through.

Suggested Pairing

This creamy, rich soup needs the bright acidity of Riesling for contrast.

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