Knefla soup, a midwestern tradition
This hearty stew is a great base from which to create a range of warm, satisfying meals
Knefla (knoephla) soup is a recipe common to many cultures, but claimed primarily by Germany. It’s also the state soup of North Dakota (who knew there were state soups?).
This thick soup of dumplings and potatoes makes a wonderful starting point from which to build your new favorite soup.
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1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
1 large onion, diced
2 Tbsp flour
3 cups milk*
2 cups water
2 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2-in cubes**
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine knefla dough ingredients and kneed to create a firm dough. Shape into a rectangle, cut into 3/4-in cubes, and set aside.
Melt butter in medium pot over medium heat until bubbly. Add diced onion to butter, and cook until quite soft and translucent, about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (I will let mine cook for 15, for a stronger flavor).
Add flour and stir for two minutes or until the flour is completely incorporated and no longer looks raw. Add first cup of milk a quarter cup at a time, stirring until smooth before adding the next lot. Then add remainder of the milk and water. Season with salt and pepper.
Add diced potato and knefla cubes, bring just to a boil, and lower to a strong simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes can be easily pierced through the center with a paring knife. Add water, milk, or cream if necessary to keep soup at your desired consistency.
Serve. Garnish, if desired, with crackers, cheese, or a sprig of parsley. Enjoy!
*The proportion of milk to water can be adjusted to suit tastes. Cream can also be added at the end (once the potatoes are cooked through) for a richer base.
**Waxy potatoes will hold their shape well, which can be aesthetically pleasing, however starchy potatoes will help to thicken up the soup. Either will work just fine.
This article originally appeared in the Aug. 29, 2014 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.