Monday, August 31, 2009

German Inspired Kale Soup with Whole Wheat Spaetzle

After canning a bushel of peaches today I really wasn’t much in the mood for cooking tonight, so I made soup. This is one of those clean out the refrigerator meals (like most soups) but it is different since it is flavored with German herbs. The German influence was driven by the desire to use the seitan beer brats. Once I had decided to make a German type of soup then I knew I wanted to make spaetzle.

Before today I had not made spaetzle without egg so I wasn’t quite certain it would work. My first attempt didn’t use tofu and the spaetzle texture wasn’t right. In fact, I hated the texture and immediately through it away. After considering the composition of egg (protein and fat) I decided to try the silken tofu and tahini dip I had in the refrigerator in place of egg. That substitution made a huge difference in the texture. The other change I made was to make the dough texture thicker (like a stiff waffle batter) and that should have also helped. Next time the only change I would make would be to add a little onion and garlic powder to the dough to give it more flavor, beyond that I think the recipe is perfect.

German Inspired Kale Soup with Whole Wheat Spaetzle
Serves 6

Soup Ingredients:

½ tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
3 leeks, finely chopped
3 green onion, finely chopped
6 carrots, finely diced
1 bok choy, finely shredded (or green cabbage)
10 kale leaves, finely shredded
8 cups of water (or enough to cover the vegetables)
1 ½ teaspoons of caraway seeds
½ teaspoon of poppy seeds
½ teaspoon of dry mustard
2 teaspoons of kosher salt
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
3 seitan beer brats, cut in half lengthwise, sliced into ½ moons

Spaetzle Ingredients:

1 cup of whole wheat flour
6 tablespoons of silken tofu, tahini, garlic sauce
6 tablespoons of water
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon of dry mustard


Sauté the leeks, green onion, and carrot in the olive oil until tender. Add the remaining soup ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.

While the soup simmers make the spaetzle. Bring a pot of water to the bowl while you make the dough.

Combine the flour, salt, pepper and dry mustard and whisks to combine. Add the tofu and stir with a fork to combine. Add the water a tablespoon at a time, stirring with each addition until the dough resembles a waffle batter.

Using a spaetzle maker, large holed grater or strainer, scrape ¼ of the dough to the top of the spaetzle maker. Use a silicon spatula to press the dough through the maker and into the boiling water. The spaetzle will fall to the bottom of the pot and will rise when they are cooked (about a minute). Remove the floating spaetzle with a strainer to a bowl of cold water to keep them from sticking together. Continue making spaetzle using one quarter of the dough at a time until you are finished.

To serve the soup, place the hot vegetables and broth in the bottom of the bowl and top with spaetzle. The hot soup will warm the spaetzle. You don’t want them to cook the second time in the soup or they will be overcooked and mushy.

Refrigerate the soup and spaetzle separately so the spaetzle do not get water logged.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 323.6
Calories From Fat (16%) - 53.18

Total Fat - 6.1g
Saturated Fat - 0.83g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 1089.28mg
Potassium - 1039.96mg
Total Carbohydrates - 46.19g
Fiber - 7.23g
Sugar - 8.35g
Protein - 22.94g


Much to my surprise my husband loved this soup. This was unexpected since he isn’t thrilled by kale and doesn’t like vinegar. When I asked what he liked about dinner tonight he told me it was caraway since I don’t normally cook with it.


  1. this looks like my kind of soup, at first i thought that the spaetzle was tvp. looks yummy!

  2. Michelle,

    Spaetzle is misshapen like tvp, but in person it is much larger. I used to make it frequently when eggs weren't off the list so it was figure it out or get rid of the spaetzle maker. Even my picky husband thought it worked well. Since I don't think many people make spaetzle I will be posting other recipes that use spaetzle it give everyone an idea of what to do with them.


  3. so its kinda like gnocchi? one of the things i really like about your blog is that you introduce so many different things, and that you give suggestions on dif ways of doing them. its fun, i have learned so much.
    just now i have gotten into oatmeal, after hating it my whole life...well i never gave it a good try. it doesnt look that appetizing no matter what anybody says,lol. but now i am getting into toppings etc.

  4. Michelle,

    Spaetzle is a fresh egg pasta made in Germany and Austria. It is small, about the size of the end of your little finger. Traditionally, it gets its richness from egg yolk. Great question! I should have given more details.



Related Posts with Thumbnails