Semolina Dumpling Soup (Griessnockerlsuppe)

February 20, 2015
FacebookTwitterPinterest

Semolina Dumpling Soup

These famous soup dumplings (Griessnockerl-Suppe: Griess = semolina, Nockerl = dumpling and Suppe = soup) are served in most traditional Austrian Gasthäuser (restaurants) and are also very common in Bavaria, the southern end of Germany. Barely without exception, they are floating in a bowl of homemade clear beef stock. Austrians usually enjoy soups as first course, with only a few high-calorie exceptions.  Therefore, your semolina dumpling soup would be followed by a Wiener Schnitzel with potato salad and some Torte or apple strudel for dessert ;-). So don’t plan more than 2 or 3 big dumplings per person, if you serve the soup as first dish. Since the majority of us doesn’t cook three course meals for lunch or dinner on normal days, I usually eat about 4 Nockerl as main dish, with lots of soup. Not that traditional Austrian, but also very delicious are these dumplings in clear vegetable soup.

Recipe for Semolina Dumpling Soup

The recipe itself is pretty simple. You will only need a handful of ingredients.

Ingredients for Nockerl: Softened butter, semolina, eggs, parsley, salt and nutmeg. Oh yeah, and beef stock (or veggie stock) of course.

Ingredients for Nockerl: Softened butter, semolina, eggs, parsley, salt and nutmeg. Oh yeah, and beef stock (or veggie stock) of course.

But there are two things, you should keep in mind:

First, the type of semolina. I’m using coarse ground wheat farina (farina meal), white-beige in color, called Grieß or Griess in German (this type).  Apparently, it is not only very common in Europe, but also in India. I found this type of wheat semolina in an Indian grocery store under the name Sooji.

Semolina or wheat farina

Coarse Semolina, also called wheat farina or cream of wheat.

When you have mixed all the ingredients with an electric hand mixer, the dough batter hast to rest in the fridge for 15 minutes. This way the semolina can absorb some of the liquid and the batter gets firm.

The batter needs to rest for 15 minutes in the fridge.

The batter needs to rest for 15 minutes in the fridge.

The second thing that can be a little tricky is forming the Nockerl. I found a video showing how to shape them here.  (Sorry for the music, btw the guys accent is not better, go straight to minute 1). Some people are shaping all the batter into Nockerl before dropping them into hot water, others do that right away when finishing a dumpling. I do the latter. The dumplings are usually shaped with two soup spoons, yielding in big Griessnockerl. To avoid the batter sticking to your spoons, dip them into hot water first.

Shaping dumplings is easiest done with two wet soup spoons.

Shaping dumplings is easiest done with two wet soup spoons.

Forming semolina dumplings

Use about 2 teaspoons of batter for each Nockerl.

Shaping semolina dumplings

Form tight, oval quenelles with three clear edges and a smooth surface.

You can cook the dumplings in either generously salted water or stock. I think they taste somehow better when cooked directly in broth. However, if you do so, you’ll end up with some dough pieces floating in your soup. Especially for the first attempts, I would suggest, you choose the salted water version.

While simmering in salted water or broth, the Nockerl will double in bulk.

While simmering in salted water or broth, the Nockerl will double in bulk.

Troubleshooting: Why are semolina dumplings falling apart?

The three main causes for semolina dumplings to fall apart while cooking are the following: Firstly, the water temperature is too high and your water is boiling too much. Keep in mind, it should only simmer gently when you drop in the dumplings. After 5 minutes, reduce the temperature and just let them simmer. Secondly, the dumplings tend to dissolve if the dough is too soft. Please really let it rest for 15 minutes in the fridge, so the semolina is able to absorb some of the liquid and get firm. The third common error often occurs during shaping. You have to shape them tight, with no visible voids. The dumplings should have clear edges and smooth surfaces. If shaping them with two spoons is too difficult for you, wet your hands and shape them with your hands. This way, they will not look perfect but at least, they are not falling apart. Enough talked about the errors and what could possibly happen. This dish is a real Li’l Vienna treat, so I’m sure you will succeed right away!

Semolina Dumpling Soup

Enjoy!

Semolina Dumpling Soup (Griessnockerlsuppe)

Yield: 20 dumplings

Serving Size: 6-7 persons (first course), 4 persons (main)

Semolina Dumpling Soup (Griessnockerlsuppe)

Ingredients

  • 5 ½ (80 g) tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten (at room temperature)
  • 2/3 cups (130 g) white semolina (wheat farina, cream of wheat)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat parsley
  • Beef or vegetable stock (about 4 cups)
  • Chopped chives to garnish

Instructions

  1. Beat softened butter with an electric hand mixer until creamy, about 1 minute.
  2. 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.
  3. Put the batter into the fridge and let it rest for 15 minutes, so it gets firm.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 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.
    Update 12/11/2015: If you left the batter in the fridge for too long or if it is kind of hard to shape the Nockerl because the batter is to stiff, do stir the batter with a fork before you shape them. That usually helps.
  6. Drop the formed dumplings into the simmering water. If you are using a rather small pot, don't overcrowd it, because the dumplings will plump up.
  7. Cook the dumplings in barely simmering water for 5 minutes. Reduce temperature to the lowest possible and let them steep for another 10-15 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.
  8. 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.

Notes

You can cook the dumplings in either generously salted water or stock. I think they taste somehow better when cooked directly in broth. However, if you do so, you’ll end up with some dough pieces floating in your soup.

https://www.lilvienna.com/semolina-dumpling-soup-griessnockerlsuppe/

Did you follow this recipe? You could share your result here. All you need to do is take a picture with your smartphone and send it to enjoy@lilvienna.com
Semolina Dumpling Soup (Griessnockerlsuppe) was last modified: December 11th, 2015 by Ursula

26 thoughts on “Semolina Dumpling Soup (Griessnockerlsuppe)

  1. Susanne Biberich

    It is so great to see recipes for foods that I have eaten all my life. Simple basic food that has served me through hard times.

    Reply
  2. Foodiewife

    I cannot thank you enough for this beautiful recipe post. My dumplings turned out perfectly. I followed your instructions exactly, and I used a rich dark chicken broth (made from roasted chicken and vegetables). I can’t wait to share this on my blog. I will, of course, give a direct link to you. Thank you! I only wish my Mutti was alive to taste this. She would have been very proud of me. This soup is a childhood comfort memory for me. It’s so worth the effort!

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Thank you so much!!! I am happy to hear that the dumplings turned out great! And of course I always am very thankful for links. I developped quite a while to get to this dumpling-recipe. It works every time ;-)) so it’s definitely a keeper (for me at least haha).

      Reply
  3. Silke Jager

    This is also one of my childhood favorites. I love Griesskloesschen! My Mutti (her name is also Ursula) would always put them in her Leberknoedelsuppe, just for me. :) Thank you for the great, easy to follow, recipe.

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Silke! Thanks so much. Sounds like a lovely mom if she put some Griessnockerl into the leberknoedelsuppe ;-)

      Reply
    2. Julie Greer

      My brother and I were just talking about this soup trying to figure out what it was called because we only knew it as “Mutti’s Soup” :) One of our favorite things to look forward to during the holidays when we’d visit. Also miss Christmas goose…never been able to duplicate the quality or meal. Can’t wait to try this recipe…looks identical to what she served.

      Reply
  4. Freya James

    Thank you for sharing! My Australian Mum makes this for my Austrian Dad (with his guidance, of course!) I need to work on my form (a lot😀) but they taste amazing. My sister Ursula loves them as well!!

    Reply
  5. Robyn

    Every single dumpling I tried completely came apart and I had to dump all the water and start over. The 15 minutes clearly did not work. I eneded up leaving the batter in the fridge for over half an hour and they still came apart every time I dropped one in the water. I used the exact same flour as mentioned. What a waste of time and money. So disappointed.

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Robyn, So sorry to hear that. I really don’t understand why they didn’t turn out well. And even less, knowing that you’ve made them with the wheat semolina that I’ve suggested. I’ve made this recipe so often, even in my cooking classes, and it worked well every time. If they come apart in the water, usually the batter is too soft. The butter should be just softened and not on the edge of melting. But I am sure you did this. Usually some extra time in the fridge works well. But you tried that too. The only thing I can additionally think of is that the dumplings are not shaped firm enough or that the water was boiling to vigorously. Have you tried to shape one dumpling into a small ball with your hands? Does it also fall apart? Sometimes this helps. Or if you are willing to try the recipe again, put the batter into the fridge for 3/4 hour. If it is rather firm, that’s ok. Simply fluff it with a fork and then try to shape (or roll) them as firm as possible. I understand that you are disappointed. I am as well if I try a recipe that doesn’t work and all the ingredients are going to waste. So I really hope you will try it again. This is my go-to recipe that I make all the time, which especially makes me sad. Ursula

      Reply
  6. G

    Hi can I make these without butter or oil? I tried with just water as a substitute and it didn’t hold much of its shape. Thanks

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi,
      Butter is one of the main ingredients, so unfortunately, you can not substitute water…. Coconut oil or margarine might work, since they are solid (not liquid) when cool. Sorry, no low-fat possible in this recipe ☺

      Reply
  7. Linda Fraundorfer Grum

    My grsndmother and Fsther were from Bad Aibling. She would always make Farina Dumplings( what we called them). I never got her recipe because she just did it from memory. Now I can make them at home. Thank you

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Linda,
      Yeah, that happens quite often that somebody makes a recipe from memory, which makes it really hard to recreate. I hope my dumplings taste close to the ones made by your grandmother! Thanks so much for your comment, I love to hear your stories ;-)

      Reply
  8. Hanna

    Liebe Ursula, Danke viel mals fuer das Rezept! I used to live in Vienna in my childhood and once in a while I remember some of the ordinary food I used to eat back then. Thank you for sharing so many recipes of those memorable delicious food! I had no idea how they were actually made! Indeed, I agree with you that Vienna is a wonderful city!

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Hanna,

      Thank you so much for your comment. Bitte, gerne ;)
      Oh, how interesting that you used to live in Vienna. I recently moved back from the US. It’s funny: When I moved to Boston, I missed a lot of Austrian food there, now that I am back, I miss a lot of the food-(diversity) I got used to ;-)

      Reply
      1. Hanna

        Thank you for replying, Ursula! Yes, I totally get it. Where I live now is not my so-called passport country either and I find myself making so much effort trying to reproduce what I miss eating here. Food I eat/long to eat tells a lot about my life indeed! Keep spreading lilvienna! With much appreciation ;D

        Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi,
      I have never tried it but I should work. They might get a little softer after thawing though. Hope you’ll try the recipe, Ursula

      Reply
  9. Robert_Cooks

    We have been making a similar dumpling quite well without any fat/oil for years. This came from my wife’s mother, she was an old world German. She came to USA in 1953 and had to find American substitutes for what was common in “the old country”. She made her dumplings from Creme of Wheat, eggs and a small amount of baking powder – no butter/margarine/oil . She used regular Creme of Wheat, but we have switched to the box marked “1 Minute” as they come out a bit softer in the middles and cook a bit quicker. I don’t know if the baking powder helps the “dough” to hold together more (I would think it would do just the opposite). My thought from what I have learned about baked goods, is the people who’s dumplings fall apart may have to much butter/oil in recipe or did not blend it well enough, so it coated the farina granules but was not absorbed into it enough, then melted to separate the granules once in the boiling water. The only time we see our dumplings fall apart much is if the water (usually broth) is boiling to hard, or if the dough is TOO DRY (we tried a couple times to “stretch” a few more dumplings by adding extra farina when we didn’t have any more eggs to add). Just like regular southern US style flour & egg dumplings (think chicken dumpling soup) if there is not enough egg to bind the flour/farina it just falls apart and turns into gravy base…
    And as to the refrigeration time – we never did that. Old country recipe would not call for that as you would not open the “ice box”just to chill some dough. just resting on the counter seems to work quite well, as the mix will go from being sticky like peanut butter to firm and springy like bread dough in about 15 minutes. I like the idea of shaping the dumplings with 2 spoons, but as we aren’t running a restaurant, we are happy just “pinching off” dough bits about 1/2 teaspoon sized “footballs” use a tablespoon, straight into the simmering soup just like we do the “American style” flour dumplings.

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Robert

      I have to try your (or your wife’s mother’s) recipe some time. The idea of not adding any oil/butter is tempting. As for chilling in the fridge: Yes, you are right. But if you add softened butter, the batter will firm up much better and quicker. Ok, I really have to try your dumpling version :-) Thanks so much for leaving a comment. I am always curious about how recipes differ from family to family.

      Reply
  10. Carmen Ford-Treacy

    My German mother always bought the packages from the German deli where you added just ge butter, salt and nutmeg. So I did this as well. Until I looked for a recipe. I had farina on hand and all the other ingredients. I had made a turkey bone stock which I froze from Thanksgiving. I used this for the dumplings. They came out perfectly! Now when I have a stick I’ve made, I will be sure to use this recipe. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Carmen,

      I bet the dumplings taste great in homemade turkey bone stock! So happy that they turned out well. One of my fav soups ever. Ursula

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.