Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Hünchensuppe mit Griessklöβchen
There are times when even I need something gentle on the stomach. Virus, flu, whatever, it's not pleasant and it's zapped my appetite. I thought I had an iron stomach, people!!!
Last night my body decided it needed chicken soup. No MSG, no powdered stock, just rich chicken broth. Preferably with some soft rice and German dumplings for ease-of-chewing.
We had a couple of chicken carcasses in the freezer, so put them in a big pot with a halved onion, a chilli, some carrots, peppercorns, bay leaves, salt and parsley stalks. These ingredients were then covered with water, brought to the boil, and left to simmer for a good few hours. I can't tell you how good the kitchen smelled.
In the meantime, I collapsed on the couch in front of a Boston Legal marathon.
I found a recipe for Griessklöβchen (aka semolina or farina dumplings) from my no-nonsense German Cookery book. There were quite a few recipes for Suppeneinlagen (soup garnishes) in there, but the Griessklöβchen were the easiest and I already had all the ingredients. (Full recipe below).
The addition of eggs made the mixture bright and golden. You're supposed to let it cool and then cut it into pieces (I think diamonds would be particularly fetching), but I was hungry, so just dropped the dumplings into the soup with 2 teaspoons. (Rather like Nigella's gnochetti di semolina, come to think of it!)
Lots of fat floating on the surface, yes, but according to German Omas, chicken fat is good for a cold. (Leftovers will definitely have the fat scraped off!)
I also added some peas, and a hardboiled egg to the soup, and consumed it, perfectly contented, in front of more sweet sweet Boston Legal.
Farina Dumplings (Griessklöβchen)
from German Cookery by Elizabeth Schuler
1/2 cup milk
2 tbls. butter
salt and nutmeg
4 tbls. farina (semolina)
Bring the milk, butter and seasoning to a boil. Sprinkle in farina and form into a lump. Remove from heat and, singly, mix in eggs. Cool. Cut into small dumplings. Place in boiling soup stock until dumplings rise to the surface.
The German Cookery book comes from "The Crown Classic Cookbook Series" - "the dishes your mother used to make, from the cookbook your grandmother brought over from the old country". I really love this series of books - I also have the Czech version, and am on the lookout for the Finnish, Polish and Jewish versions!
These soup dumplings reminded me of a dish that Oma Freida in Germany makes, which I tried on my trip to Germany in 07/08: Griessklöβchen mit Sauerkirschen. AKA semolina dumplings with sour cherries. And I just had to go searching through my old holiday pics to share this with you.
I really liked the old blue bowl it was served in.
Basically I think it is a similar dumpling dough, scooped into a bowl and topped with fried breadcrumbs. It is served with sour cherries from a jar. We had it for lunch one wintry January day, and I don't think you can get more homestyle German cookery than that.