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Sides, Soups

"Spotsy" Soup

Rivels means lumps. Children in Pennsylvania Dutch communities learn this at an early age. That's because rivels are loved by every child, much like macaroni and cheese. It's a fondness few outgrow. Growing up with a Pennsylvania Dutch grandmother, I ... Read more

Total time: 45 minutes | Serves 4 to 6
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 to 6 cups beef stock or other stock
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1/2 recipe Rivels batter

Step 1Melt the butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until golden brown but still soft, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Step 2Add the stock, potato and salt and pepper to taste. (Grandma used water instead of stock, but I find stock adds a nice meaty flavor.) Lower the heat to medium, cover and simmer until the potato is just tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 3Uncover. Press the rivel batter through a colander with 1/4-inch holes into the soup (or use a ricer or spaetzle machine). Boil gently, stirring once or twice, until the rivels rise to the surface and are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Note: My Grandma Filson used to make "spotsy" soup by the gallons. Typical of Pennsylvania Dutch soups, it's humble but substantial, with plenty of "stuff" in it. It was nourishing "poverty soups" such as this that enabled Grandma and other Pennsylvania Dutch women to feed their farm families during difficult times. Though her version was made with water, I prefer beef stock. I hope you won't shun its paltry ingredients. It tastes like a cross between French onion soup and potato soup, with rivels.
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