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Posts Tagged ‘soup’

postheadericon Liver Noodles or Leberknoedel

We Pa. Dutch and Coal Region folk are a frugal lot. Not only do we use just about every inch of a butchered animal for food and sustenance, but we get creative and come up with multiple dishes using ingredients some consider less than crave-worthy. Take liver for instance; just about everyone has heard of liver and onions, but that can get a little boring. Plus, if you are like many a “Dutchie” you have some extra beef liver hanging out in your freezer just waiting to be put to good use. Enter the leberknoedel , or “liver noodles”, a traditional dish of German, Austrian and Czech cuisines (the word “Dutch” in “Pennsylvania Dutch” does not refer to the Dutch people or language, but to the German settlers to the region, known as Deutsch). Leberknoedel is usually composed of beef liver, though in the German Palatinate region pork is often used instead. .

Actually calling these “noodles” may be a bit of a misnomer to today’s cook — they are more like a “dumpling” than the flat, thin piece of pasta found in grocery stores in cellophane bags, dried and ready to be dumped into boiling water or stock which many people identify as “noodles”. Leberknoedel, rather, is like a dumpling. It is flavorful and can be eaten in soup or as the protein for a meal served with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut. They pack a nutritional punch and are very budget friendly – liver is extremely inexpensive at your grocery store or butcher. Yes, they might appear a little plain (and gray), but if you like liver, you really should give these a try!

 

Liver Noodles (Leberknoedel)

Liver Noodles  (Leberknoedel)

Leberknoedel (liver dumplings)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound calves liver
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • Simmering soup or broth to cook leberknoedel in.

Instructions

  1. Clean liver by removing any veins or membrane.
  2. Using a food processor, combine the liver, butter, onion, parsley, and seasonings and process until smooth.
  3. Add the breadcrumbs and eggs and process until well mixed. Add a bit more bread crumbs (or flour) if needed, for dumplings to hold together.
  4. Using wet hands if needed, using about 2 tablespoons for each, form into balls.
  5. Bring broth (or soup) to boil. Add dumplings and reduce heat to a simmer. Dumplings will float to the top when they are done, about 20 minutes.
  6. Serve soup, garnished with parsley.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/05/06/liver-noodles-leberknoedel/

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postheadericon Old-fashioned Oyster Stew

My Dad LOVED soup. I think he could have eaten soup every day of the week. He insisted it be served steaming hot and was notorious for sending back any bowl of soup in a restaurant that wasn’t served at that temperature. He ate all kinds of soup, but his favorites were those that were simple and filling.

Dad pulled away from the house in the still-dark early morning on his way to pick up a load of coal in his tractor-trailer at a local breaker then head off to Philadelphia or New York City to deliver it. As a treat, my Mom would occasionally take me for a “girl’s day out” (yes, I skipped school that day and survived to go on to graduate years later with honors…) and we would explore “the city” — Pottsville, Pa. (the county seat of Schuylkill County). For a kid from a very small town, this was a huge deal!

Mom and I headed out to spend the day window shopping the busy 1960’s main streets of Pottsville. Mom always kept a close watch on the time, making sure we would be home early enough to greet Dad as he arrived home. Because we usually had a pretty substantial lunch during our trip, Mom often planned a simple and quick supper for that evening. She sometimes stopped by the local seafood store on our way home and picked up some fresh oysters in order to make one of Pop’s absolute favorites – oyster stew.

Scalloped oysters, oyster pie, oyster filling (stuffing), fried; the Amish, Mennonites and Pennsylvania Dutch have a long history of using oysters in their cuisine and still enjoy eating oysters today despite the high prices now being charged for them. Back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, when oysters were plentiful and very reasonably priced, they were sold as snacks on the streets of Philadelphia. Oysters could be purchased for the home from a woman called an oyster wench or from a peddler that traveled from farm to farm.

I watched my Mom make this oyster stew many times and it is not the “recipe” that makes it special but rather its glorious simplicity.  This recipe is no fuss, one pot yummy-ness for oyster fans. Be careful not to overcook the oysters: they turn rubbery. Use fresh oysters – the fresher, the better, for this dish.  This was always served with oyster crackers in our house – Dad would toss a layer of the crackers in the bowl then ladle the stew over them. He never failed to add an additional pat of butter to the top.

Old-fashioned Oyster Stew

Old-fashioned Oyster Stew

Oyster Stew

Ingredients

  • 2 pints fresh oysters packed in their liquor (or more if desired)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, plus more for garnish
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • OPTIONAL
  • Tabasco to taste
  • Parsley for garnish, if desired

Instructions

  1. The most important factors in preparing Oyster Stew are do not boil the milk and do not overcook the oysters. Overcooking oysters causes them to become tough.
  2. Drain oysters through fine strainer to remove any sand, reserve liquor, set oysters aside.
  3. Add milk, cream, oyster liquor, and butter to large saucepan
  4. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Do not allow to boil as milk will curdle.
  5. Add oysters and continue on simmer until outer edges of oysters curl.
  6. Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly, and add salt and black pepper, to taste.
  7. Serve with an additional pat of butter on top.
  8. May be sprinkled with Tabasco sauce to taste and/or sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley.
  9. Serve in warmed soup bowls with oyster crackers or saltines.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/04/15/old-fashioned-oyster-stew/

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postheadericon Pa Dutch Pretzel Soup (Shdreis’l Suppee)

This is a real Pa. Dutch comfort food that goes way back, is cheap and easy to make, warms you up and is often eaten before bed time.  I certainly have had too many bowls in my lifetime to keep count. Calling it a”soup” is actually over-kill. It is simply warmed milk with a lump of butter added to each bowl in which “Reading butter pretzels” are crushed and soak in the milk.

(Reading Pa, in Berks County, with a sizable population of Pa. Dutch folks, was home to numerous pretzel shops, earning it the nickname Pretzel City.  At one time, Reading produced one-third of all the pretzels baked in the U.S. While Berks County’s pretzel industry may not be as prominent as it once was, its legacy lives on.)

This “recipe” is from an old Pa Dutch cookbook and, naturally, specified “Reading” pretzels. Today, a good choice is a butter pretzel like Bachman Pretzels Butter Twists, Snyder’s Butter Snaps, etc. I have also used a hearty hard pretzel obtained from Amish farmers’ markets or bulk food stores in this soup.  Some people like their pretzels to retain some crunch, others prefer the pretzels soften before indulging.  There are some variations of this soup that start with a roux resulting in a thicker “milk broth”, but I like mine this way – plain and simple with just milk and butter.

Pa Dutch Pretzel Soup

Pa Dutch Pretzel Soup

Ingredients

  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Pretzels (butter pretzels are best, but plain hard pretzels will also work), broken into pieces

Instructions

  1. Heat a bowl of milk for each person to be served.
  2. To each bowl of milk add a small piece of butter.
  3. At the table each person should add enough pretzels to fill their bowl.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/04/10/pa-dutch-pretzel-soup-shdreisl-suppee/

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postheadericon Old-Fashioned Potato Soup

This is my well-used recipe for Potato Soup that was a favorite of my Dad’s.  As a little girl, I remember him coming home after hauling coal from Tremont, Pa. in the Coal Region to Philadelphia and New York City in his tractor-trailer and me running out to greet him and climbing up into the cab to ride to the top of the driveway where he parked.  At least once a week, Mom had a pot of this soup simmering and ready for him when he arrived home. As I grew older and took over the kitchen, I made this for him many, many times. This is not meant to be a thickened potato soup, but rather a very simple one found in PA Dutch cuisine that consists of a thin, milky broth filled with potatoes – easy and budget friendly. If you do not like, or do not eat, hard-cooked eggs, you can omit them, but I recommend adding them otherwise. You can garnish with crumbled fried bacon, chives, paprika…your choice, but keep in mind, this is meant to be a very simple dish to keep it traditional.

Old Fashioned Potato Soup

 

Old-Fashioned Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided plus additional for garnish
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 - 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 6 large potatoes, peeled and diced in to 1/2 inch dice (about 2 pounds)
  • Water
  • 3 cups whole milk OR 1-1/2 cups whole milk and 1- 12 ounce can full fat evaporated milk (NOT condensed milk)
  • 3 hard cooked eggs, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • OPTIONAL: Fresh or dried parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Cook the onions and celery in 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until softened but not browned. Add potatoes and JUST enough water to cook (just barely to the top of the potatoes). Season lightly with salt. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low.
  2. SIMMER until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Watch that you do not boil too hard and cook the pan dry. Do not drain.
  3. Add the milk, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat just until hot, do not boil. Stir in the chopped eggs, serve with another pat of butter on top if desired and sprinkle of parsley and/or black pepper.
  4. If you choose, you can use a potato masher to mash some of the potato cubes to thicken slightly, but this soup is meant to be thin.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/10/05/old-fashioned-potato-soup/

 

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postheadericon Stuffed Pepper Soup

Everything you love about stuffed peppers, but in the form of an easy and satisfying soup. Quick to whip up, this soup also freezes nicely. As the cooler weather settles in on the Coal Region, I like to have soups available for speedy meals as often as possible. This one is a favorite of mine and on frequent rotation on my schedule because it comes together quickly, is budget friendly, and does not require hours of simmering.

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 can (28 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups chopped green peppers
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups cooked long grain rice
  • Chopped fresh parsley, optional

Instructions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook and stir beef until no longer pink; drain off excess fat.
  2. Stir in next eight ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until peppers are tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Add cooked rice; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes longer. If desired, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/20/stuffed-pepper-soup/

 

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postheadericon Pa. Dutch Chicken Pot Pie

No, it’s not a “meat pie” version of “Pot Pie” consisting of veggies, meat, and gravy baked into a pie shape surrounded by crust.  THIS is Pa. Dutch Pot Pie. In Pennsylvania Deutsch is it, “Bott Boi”.  Commercial packaged Pot Pie noodles (squares) are available in some areas, but trust me, homemade is the way to go. Turning out homemade dough seem too complicated? I have also included a family friend’s old recipe for very easy homemade squares using Bisquick and milk.  See, now you have NO excuse not to make these luscious little pillows of happiness for your pot of Pot Pie!

As with many of the foods of the Coal Region and Pa. Dutch, this dish is often the highlight of church and fire company dinners for fundraising. This is often served with Hot Bacon Dressing over greens. This dish resembles Southern style Chicken and Dumplings (but not the big, pouf-y versions of dumplings simmered on the surface of broth…) Pa. Dutch Pot Pie can be easily made in large quantities, is a filling and budget friendly meal for small or large families, and can also be made with ham or beef as the meat. On the VERY RARE OCCASION that there are leftovers, i have been known to freeze this for enjoying at a later date. Very. Rare. Occasion…

Pa. Dutch Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients

  • Pot Pie Squares (Noodles)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/8 cup milk (adjust as necessary)
  • OR the super-easy version:
  • 4 cups buttermilk baking mix (Bisquick is my preference)
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • Broth/stock
  • 1 small, whole chicken (or bone-in pieces of your choice)
  • Water to cover chicken in pot
  • 4 Medium white or gold potatoes, peeled & large diced
  • 3 Medium Carrots, peeled & large diced
  • 2 Large ribs Celery, diced
  • 1 Medium Onion, peeled & large diced
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. To make the dough squares
  2. Mix the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
  3. Add butter, cutting in with pastry blender, two knives, or fingers.
  4. Beat the eggs and add to the bowl with the flour mixture, then add the milk.
  5. Lightly mix to blend well and make a soft dough that is stiff enough to roll out. Adjust flour or milk to achieve consistency.
  6. On a floured board, roll out to a 1/8th to 1/4-inch thickness as per your choosing. I prefer my squares a little thicker, so I roll to 1/4 ".
  7. Cut into 1-1/2-inch squares with a sharp knife (I use a pizza cutter for ease in cutting). No need to be perfect.
  8. Let stand for 30 minutes to dry surface slightly.
  9. SUPER EASY VERSION:
  10. Stir together the baking mix and milk, adding more baking mix or milk as needed to make a soft dough that is stiff enough to roll out. Roll dough on a surface lightly floured with more baking mix to about 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 1-1/2 inch squares using the method for the dough as above.
  11. Stock
  12. In a large stock pot add chicken broth and water to cover. Add salt and pepper to taste or add some good quality chicken bullion to enrich your stock.
  13. .
  14. Bring to a slow simmer. Cover and cook for approximately 1-1/2 hours OR until chicken is thoroughly cooked, tender, and falling off the bone. Remove chicken from stock and allow to cool. Once cooled, remove skin and pull meat from the bone into large pieces. Strain stock if desired.
  15. To the stock in the pot, add potatoes, carrots, celery and onion. Cook for 10 minutes uncovered at a low simmer. Bring to a rapid boil and slowly add noodles piece by piece. You want to keep the broth moving at a rapid boil during this step. I drop squares with one hand and stir them down into the broth with the other until all squares have been added, otherwise they tend to stick to one another. Once all squares have been added, reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover and cook for approximately 20 minutes until vegetables & noodles are tender.
  16. Uncover, add chicken and continue to cook on a low simmer for another 20 minutes.
  17. Adjust seasoning with salt & pepper, to taste. Add parsley as garnish.
  18. COOK'S NOTE: I cook my pot pie in the evening and refrigerate until the next day or make it early in the day and reheat for a meal. Like any good stew or soup, this gets better as it sits and the flavors meld beautifully.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/19/pa-dutch-chicken-pot-pie/

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postheadericon Super Quick and Easy Coal Region Bean Soup

Bean soup is a staple in the coal region at block parties, church picnics, and holiday celebrations. But soaking dried beans, simmering them, and cooking down a ham end or hock can be time consuming and means making a long simmered bean soup takes planning. The best traditional bean soup here in Schuylkill County often includes a huge black iron kettle over an open flame — and beer…IN the soup, not just with it. But sometimes, you want memories, filling flavors, and thoughts of the comforts of home but are short on time. Here is a QUICK AND EASY bean soup created with bacon and canned beans to enjoy and reminisce over about Coal Cracker memories of gatherings and foods associated with them. And this version even includes the beer! (if desired).

Coal Region Bean Soup

Coal Region Bean Soup

Super Quick and Easy Coal Region Bean Soup

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. good quality smoked bacon (local butcher shop or farmer is best), diced
  • 1 cup diced yellow onions
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cans (15 oz each) Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounce) diced potatoes, drained
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons tomato paste and 1/2 water and 1/2 beer (Yuengling...) to make 1 cup liquid
  • OR 1- 8 ounce can of tomato sauce

Instructions

  1. Cook the bacon in a soup pot or Dutch oven until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Discard all but about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.
  2. To the hot bacon grease, add the onions, carrots and celery. Cook over medium heat until they start to soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. Stir in the chicken broth and beans.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a bubble then reduce the heat to low and let the soup simmer for 40 to 45 minutes. Stir often.
  5. Remove half of the soup to a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Return the puree to the soup pot and stir into the remaining soup. Add the drained canned diced potatoes, the tomato sauce OR paste and the water/beer and the reserved bacon and stir to combine.
  6. Return to the heat until it is heated through.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/coal-region-bean-soup/

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postheadericon Polish Sauerkraut Soup – Kapusniak

Sauerkraut Soup

14 oz (400g) sauerkraut
12 oz (350g) smoked Kielbasa, split lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
4 medium potatoes, cubed
5 oz (150g) smoked bacon, chopped
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 sprig thyme (optional)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 quarts (liters) water, or chicken or vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
Salt
Pepper

Instructions
In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil, add onions and cook until they soften. Add carrots and cook for few more minutes. Add potatoes and water or broth. Bring to a boil.
Add the bacon and sausage to the frying pan and cook until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and caraway seeds and cook for a few more minutes. Add sauerkraut and simmer for 5-10 minutes more.
When the potatoes are almost done, add the bacon, sausage and sauerkraut mixture into the soup pot. Add bay leaf, thyme and season with salt and pepper. Return to boil and simmer or another 20-30 minutes until the cabbage is soft.

 

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postheadericon Pa Dutch Chicken Corn Rivel Soup

What’s a rivel you ask? A little glob of dough simmered in soup broth that thickens the broth and makes for a hearty bowl of yumminess. It’s not a “DUMPLING” in the traditional way, or a noodle. It’s a…well…rivel. Trust me on this, you’ll love ’em. Fresh corn is here, take advantage of it for this recipe. Frozen corn can be substituted, but it is not the same. If going the non-fresh corn route, I prefer using Niblets canned corn for taste and texture.

Chicken Corn Rivel Soup

Ingredients

4 – 5 lb. roaster chicken
1 medium onion finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 quarts (16 cups) water
6 cups fresh corn (frozen may be substituted)
3 hard cooked eggs chopped
1 tablespoon parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

For Rivels:

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs

Instructions

Place chicken roaster, onion and celery in a Dutch oven or stock pot and cover with the water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, skim foam, and cook for about 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken from the broth. Allow to cool to touch and cut into desired size pieces. Skim off any top fat at this time if desired.
Meanwhile, shuck corn and cut corn off the cobs.
On medium heat add corn kernels to the broth and cook for about 5 minutes until corn is tender. Add chicken meat into broth.
Meanwhile, combine flour and raw egg to make rivels. Mix by hand until the consistency of pea sized crumbs. Add extra flour if dough is too sticky. Slowly add rivels to boiling soup by crumbling into soup with hands while stirring constantly. Cook about five minutes. Stir in hard-boiled eggs. Ladle into bowls and enjoy.

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