Knoephla Soup

Knoephla soup is a comforting and hearty dish that has its roots deeply embedded in the culinary traditions of German-Russian communities, particularly those who settled in North Dakota.

Knoephla soup being ladeled out of a dutch oven with a large spoon.

This soup is a delightful blend of dumplings and vegetables simmered in a rich and creamy broth, offering warmth and comfort during the colder months. The simplicity of its ingredients and the wholesome preparation method make Knoephla soup a favorite among those who appreciate a fulfilling meal without excessive complexity.

What Makes This Soup So Great?

The charm of Knoephla soup lies in its uncomplicated yet satisfying nature. It’s a complete meal in one pot, combining the textures of soft, chewy dumplings with the tender bite of vegetables, all enveloped in a creamy, hearty broth. The balance of simple spices and fresh ingredients brings out a taste that is both nurturing and invigorating. It’s a dish that doesn’t need to rely on strong spices or unusual ingredients to stand out; its strength is in its subtlety and the comfort it provides.

A picture showing an onion , garlic, celery, carrot, and potatoes for Knoephla soup.

What Kitchen Items Do You Need To Make This?

Preparing Knoephla soup doesn’t require any specialized kitchen gadgets, making it accessible for anyone to try. You’ll need a few basic items:


  • A medium-sized mixing bowl for preparing the dumpling dough.
  • A wooden spoon or rubber spatula to mix the dough.
  • A lightly floured surface for kneading and shaping the dough.
  • A sharp knife or dough cutter to cut the dumplings.
  • A large pot or Dutch oven for cooking the soup, ideally something heavy-bottomed to distribute heat evenly and prevent burning.
  • A ladle for stirring and serving the soup.
A bowl that has celery, carrots, and onion that have been prepped for Knoephla soup.

What Ingredients Are Needed For This Recipe?

For the Knoephla:

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ to ½ cup of water

For the Soup:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium white onion, diced into chunks
  • 1 carrot, diced into chunks
  • 1 celery stalk, diced into chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large baking potatoes, diced into chunks
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups whole milk or half-and-half
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill and parsley (optional)
A picture of the process of cutting the dumplings to size for Knoephla soup.

How To Make It

For the Knoephla:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and black pepper. Mix in the egg and start with ⅓ cup of water, adding more gradually if necessary, until a dough forms.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes until smooth. Divide the dough in half, roll each piece into a rope about ½ inch thick, and cut into 1-inch pieces.

For the Soup:

  1. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are slightly soft, then stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Add the potatoes, thyme, bay leaves, and stock to the pot. Season again with salt and pepper, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Carefully add the dumplings to the pot. They are done when they float to the surface, which should take about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the milk or half-and-half, and adjust seasoning as needed. If using, add the chopped herbs just before serving.
A hand holding up the uncooked dumplings for Knoephla soup.

What Is The History Behind This Recipe?

Knoephla soup is a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of German-Russian immigrants who settled in the Dakotas in the United States. These communities often had limited access to a variety of foods and adapted their traditional recipes based on the ingredients available in their new homeland. The dumplings in the soup are reminiscent of Central European cuisine, while the use of local vegetables and dairy products shows how these immigrants blended their old culinary traditions with new ones.

Knoephla soup with all of the herbs thrown in sitting in a cast-iron dutch oven.

What Can I Switch Up To Make This Different If I Have Dietary Needs (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)?

This recipe can be easily modified to accommodate various dietary restrictions:

  • Vegan/Vegetarian: Use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock and a plant-based butter alternative. Substitute the milk or half-and-half with a non-dairy creamer.
  • Gluten-Free: Replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour mix that is suitable for baking. Ensure that all other ingredients, like the stock and seasonings, are certified gluten-free.
Knoephla soup in a yellow ceramic bowl, that is sitting on a white linen. There is also a spoon in it.

How Should I Store This?

Knoephla soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days. When reheating, you may need to add a little extra milk or stock, as the dumplings tend to absorb the broth over time. This soup also freezes well. Cool the soup completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers, leaving some space for expansion. It can be stored frozen for up to three months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat gently on the stove.

Knoephla soup is more than just a meal; it’s a nod to cultural history, a testament to the fusion of culinary traditions, and a reminder of the simple pleasures that come from a well-cooked meal. Whether you’re enjoying it on a cold winter day or serving it to friends and family, this soup offers both nourishment and comfort, time and time again.

knoephla soup in a cast-iron pot.

Knoephla Soup

Author: Maddy & JD – Them Bites
Knoephla Soup is an ultra comforting German-style soup popular in the Upper Midwest region made with a rich, creamy broth, potatoes, and homemade dumplings.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course dinner, Lunch
Cuisine german
Servings 4 people
Calories 184 kcal


For the Knoephla

  • cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ⅓ – ½ cup water

For the Soup

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium white onion diced into chunks
  • 1 carrot diced into chunks
  • 1 celery stalk diced into chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 large baking potatoes diced into chunks
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 cup whole milk or half and half
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill and parsley optional

Recipe Instructions

For the Knoephla

  • Mix together the flour, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Next, add in the egg and ⅓ cup water. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to combine until a dough forms. Add more water if needed, a little at a time.
  • Place dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes. Cut dough ball in half. Using both hands roll the half into a rope, about ½ inch thick. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Set aside while you prepare the soup.

For the Soup.

  • Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Saute onion, carrot, and celery. Season with salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes until slightly soft. Next, add in the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Next, add potatoes, thyme, and stock. Season with salt and pepper. Mix to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Next, carefully add in dumplings. Dumplings are cooked through when they begin to float, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the milk or half and half. Taste and season if necessary. Add herbs if using and serve.


Calories: 184kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 5gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 0.4mgSodium: 308mgPotassium: 123mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 2564IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 2mg
Keyword knoephla, knoephla soup
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