I recently re-created a recipe that I used to make many years ago when my olders were little, and we really liked it as it has shredded roast beef in it and isn’t tomato-based. It feels like many of my winter soups are more tomato-y. I forgot how easy it was—and how yummy it was.
When I shared it on FB, I got a lot of comments from people telling me they used to love rivels growing up, how their grandma made them, what they have had them in—and how to spell it. Turns out I wasn’t spelling it correctly (not good for Language Lady….I should have learned how to spell rivels after writing fifty thousand pages of curriculum!).
Still others had never heard of such a “dumpling” and wanted to know more about them. Upon closer study, I discovered that my tiny rivels in my soup were only one of many ways these are created. Some sites showed bowl-sized dumplings in which quite literally each bowl had one large rivel! Others described using them in veggie soup and even chili. I have had these tiny ones in “soup beans” before and so had many of my FB friends.
For clarity’s sake, here is how Wikipedia defines these homemade “pastas” called rivels:
“Rivels are an ingredient in some types of soup, often a chicken-based soup (archetypically chicken corn soup) or potato soup.Rivels are common in Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. They are composed primarily of egg and wheat flour, which is cut together to create small dumpling-like pieces.”
The question on a more healthy-recipe blog is, “How healthy is this soup?” Here’s the run down for different types of readers of DR:
1) Family-friendly/homestyle cooks can make a homemade soup with typical ingredients on hand! That will be a win-win for many trying to feed families. The “combination food” aspect of it was one that I was always looking for when raising a large family. Using meat as more of a condiment or “side” as opposed to the main attraction reduces costs in feeding a crew.
2) Low carbers can easily use this recipe with turnips or radishes. (See more about that in my Hamburger Stew recipe.) And the rivels can be made with low carb flour mixes, including my Very Low Carb Flour Mix or my Low Carb Sprouted Flour Mix. (I prefer the latter for the puffy and chewy taste of the rivels.) With low carb veggies, low carb rivels, meat, and broth, this can be a low carb comfort food for sure.
3) Healthier options—making this with homemade bone broth and more veggies (I think shredded carrots would work well!) would deepen the nutritional value of this soup.
The picture above is Jakie cutting the rivels out of long, thin snakes of dough–with a pizza cutter. Then I just ran the pizza cutter over and through them all to cut them even smaller. It was much faster than the breaking off pieces.
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- Cook roast in crock pot overnight seasoned as you like your roast seasoned (or in oven cooking bag for three or four hours at 250 to 300 depending on roast size)–or you can use a can of beef (large).
- Put water on to boil (10 to 12 cups?).
- Mix up rivels while water is coming to a boil by doing the following:
- a. Stir together flour, salt, and baking powder
- b. Cut in egg.
- c. Cut in ice water as needed to form dough that’s manageable. (I just did all of this with two forks in a huge cereal bowl…)
- d. Pat dough out until it’s really flat and break off or cut off little tiny pieces like teeny tadpoles. (I needed my soup for noon the next day, so I did this the night before and just left them out on the cutting board overnight. They don’t really have to dry necessarily.)
- Note: The picture above is Jakie cutting the rivels out of long, thin snakes of dough–with a pizza cutter. Then I just ran the pizza cutter over and through them all to cut them even smaller. It was much faster than the breaking off pieces.
- Boil potatoes until thoroughly cooked. (I put mine in a glass measure with ¼ cup water tightly covered with plastic wrap and cook for eight minutes or so until done.)
- Once rivels are cooked, add beef base (or you could have used broth to cook the rivels in)–tons to make it beefy– and seasonings to taste (minced onion, pepper, garlic, bay leaves (4 or so)).
- Then drain potatoes and add them to the rivels/broth.
- Then shred meat and add it and any juices.
- Simmer for an hour or so until flavors are well mixed.
P.S. Have you made rivels before? What did you use them in?
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