Griesnockensuppe (dialect) aka Griessknödelsuppe (standard German) is a soup that is a perfect starter for a menu for its simplicity. In Germany, soups are served before the main meal and this is a classic, involving semolina dumplings, very popular specifically in Southern Germany and Austria as well. They traditionally come in a beef broth, but vegetable broth would work as well.

For the homemade Broth: 500 g beef for the soup and 750 g beef bones – 1 large onion – 1 bay leave – 3-4 cloves – 2 carrots – black pepper corns – ½ celery root – 2 celery stalks – 1 small leek – fresh parsley, chopped. For the dumplings: 120 g semolina (Griess) – 80 g soft butter – 2 eggs – freshly ground nutmeg, to taste – salt, to taste – 1-2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Wash bones and meat under cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Add about 2 liters of cold water to a large pot, place meat and bones in it, add bay leave, pin cloves into the onion and add to broth, add pepper corns. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, let simmer for 1 hours (not covered). Take of the foam that has appeared. Add the chopped greens and let simmer for another hour.

For the dumplings, add soft butter to the semolina and mix well; beat eggs and add to the semolina until you get a smooth dough, add chopped parsley, spice to taste with salt and nutmeg. When the broth is done, sieve it and bring back into the pot, spice with salt, nutmeg and black pepper to taste. Have the broth on low heat, it should be hot but not boiling. With 2 teaspoons form dumplings out of the semolina dough and place them carefully into the broth. It should not boil. Let them cook for 15 min and continue to make sure the broth is not boiling. The dumplings will fall apart otherwise. Before serving, sprinkle the broth with some fresh chopped parsley. You also can use the carrots by slicing them and adding them to the broth if they are not too soft, but traditional is just parsley. Guten Appetit!



Poppyseed Spätzle with cherry compote. This generally is not dessert but a full lunch during summertime.

500 g Spätzle (store-bought spaetzle) – Salz (salt) – 1 Glas (720 ml) eingemachte Kirschen, wie z.b. Schattenmorellen (jar of cherries in their own juice) – 1 EL Speisestärke (1 tablespoon starch) – 4 EL Butter (4 tablespoons butter) – 4 EL gemahlener Mohn (4 tablespoon of poppyseed meal) – 4 EL Zucker (4 tablespoons sugar) – Puderzucker (powdered sugar)

Spätzle nach Packungsanweisung in kochendem Salzwasser zubereiten (Cook Spätzle according to directions on package in salt water). Kirschen in ein Sieb gießen, Saft auffangen und Saft bis auf 4 EL aufkochen (Pour cherries into a sieve to catch the juice, reserve 4 tablespoons of it and bring the rest to a boil). Stärke und 4 EL Saft glatt rühren (Stir together the starch and 4 tablespoons of reserved cherry juice). Angerührte Stärke in den kochenden Saft rühren (Stir starch juice mix into the boiling cherry juice). Erneut aufkochen und ca. 2 Minuten köcheln (Bring to a boil again and let simmer for 2 minutes). Kirschen in den Saft geben und unterheben (Place cherries in the boiled juice mix and stir). Je 2 EL Butter in 2 Pfannen schmelzen (Melt 2 tablespoons each in 2 different pans). Mohn und Spätzle in die Pfannen verteilen und ca. 10 Minuten unter Wenden braten (Place poppyseed and spätzle and fry for about 10 mins, stirring). Mit Zucker bestreuen, und weitere ca. 4 Minuten karamellisieren (Sprinkle with sugar and let caramelize for about 4 mins). Nudeln und Kompott anrichten, mit Puderzucker bestäuben (Place spätzle and cherries on plates and sprinkle with powdered sugar). Dazu schmeckt Vanillesoße (Serve with vanilla sauce, if desired.) Guten Appetit!

Regional German Food: Pickert. It’s a flat, fried or baked…

Regional German Food: Pickert. It’s a flat, fried or baked potato dish from Nordrhein-Westfalen, Northwestern Germany, featuring something between a flattened dumpling and a pancake. It comes as a Pfannenpickert the size of a pan, a rectangular Kastenpickert, or a palm-sized regular Pickert. The main ingredients are grated potatoes, flour, milk, eggs, yeast, salt, sugar, oil, and often raisins. 3 large potatoes produce 10–15 palm-sized pickerts, enough for 4–5 people.

They’re a specialty of the district of Lippe, where they developed from a traditional meal for the poorer people. In times past, they were eaten as breakfast or lunch by farmers, too, being a cheap but very nourishing dish, as would be required of food for a day’s work in the fields. They are now served spread with sugar beet syrup, butter, plum jam or Leberwurst (liver sausage). A related dish, Lappenpickert, is found in the regions towards Münster and the Ruhr Area. It does not usually contain raisins and yeast, but may have a dash of sweet cream added. There, it’s usually baked in rather thin pancakes on a griddle greased with a side of lard, and eaten with the same spreads as the Lippe Pickerts, or with smoked fish or cold cuts of meat.