This is a dish is a family pleaser, something that I can make that everyone including picky husband and my three little ones enjoy. The soup is pretty much chicken noodle soup without the chicken and with homemade spaetzle in place of the noodles, who wouldn't love that? And serving it with mini soft pretzels just ups the enjoyment factor. Being a first generation American, I like that this gives a nod to the German food I grew up loving, and being able to share that with my kids is special to me.
For the soup I like to use this Seitenbacher broth base (it is a powder, I buy it on amazon) if I don't have any homemade vegetable stock on hand. It's imported from Germany and tastes great, on top of the convenience factor. It makes a quick meal, especially if you have some leftover spaetzle from last night's dinner, although sometimes I make spaetzle specifically for this soup. Pretty much just chop up a few carrots and stalks of celery, about 5 each -- more or less of one if you have a favorite of the two -- and cook them in the stock. Ladle your broth and veggies over a bowl of cooked spaetzle. You do not want to add the spaetzle directly to the broth pot or it will get too mushy.
My Favorite Spaetzle
recipe came with my spaetzle press, I've tried lots of spaetzle recipes and keep coming back to this one
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Whisk together eggs and milk, add flour, salt, and nutmeg, stir together until you have a very thick wet dough.
Use with your spaetzle press, drop into boiling water in batches, remove from water when they float, let drain in colander, then add to frying pan with a little bit of butter, keep on warm on low heat while you cook the rest of the spaetzle, adding the remaining batches after draining to the pan and stirring every few minutes. This makes a big batch of spaetzle -- 6 to 8 servings.
Next up is a recipe for Pretzel Rolls that can be shaped into traditional pretzels, mini pretzels, or rolls.
Mini Soft Pretzels
recipe from Chow.com
1 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 3/4 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
6 cups water
1/4 cup baking soda
**The below directions are from Chow.com for a stand mixer -- I've done the dough for this recipe in my bread machine and it works perfectly!**Place warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle yeast on top. Set aside to rest until mixture bubbles, about 5 minutes. (If the mixture does not bubble, either the liquid was not at the correct temperature or the yeast is old.)
Place flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and whisk briefly to break up any lumps and combine. Once yeast is ready, fit the bowl on the mixer, attach a dough hook, and dump in flour mixture.
Mix on the lowest setting until dough comes together, then increase to medium speed and mix until dough is elastic and smooth, about 8 minutes.
Form dough into a ball, place in a large oiled mixing bowl, and turn dough to coat in oil. Cover with a clean, damp dishtowel, and let rest in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 30 to 35 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, coat paper with vegetable oil, and set aside.
Once dough has risen, punch it down and knead it on a floured, dry surface just until it becomes smooth and springs back when poked, about 1 minute. Divide dough into 8 pieces and form into oblong rolls. Place rolls on the baking sheet and cut 4 (2-inch) diagonal slashes across the top of each. Cover with a damp towel and let dough rise in a warm place until almost doubled in volume, about 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425°F and bring water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat.
Once rolls have risen, stir baking soda into boiling water (water will foam up slightly). Boil two or three rolls for 2 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, remove rolls, drain, and place on the baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle well with salt, and repeat with remaining rolls.
Once all rolls are ready, place in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve hot.
If you give these recipes a try I hope they become favorites for you and your loved ones too! I'm sending this on over to Heather at girlichef who is hosting Presto Pasta Nights #197. Spaetzle Soup is heading to my blogging friend Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sundays event. And last but not least, this post is also going to Susan at Wild Yeast for YeastSpotting! Thank you to everyone for hosting :)