Czech Liver Dumpling Soup (Polevka z Jatrove Knedlicky)

Dish of two liver dumplings
Westend61 / Getty Images
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
728 Calories
41g Fat
25g Carbs
62g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 728
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 41g 53%
Saturated Fat 17g 87%
Cholesterol 608mg 203%
Sodium 1099mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 62g
Vitamin C 24mg 120%
Calcium 100mg 8%
Iron 15mg 81%
Potassium 763mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Czech liver dumpling soup or polevka z jatrove knedlicky is a favorite starter before a big of feast of roast duck or pork cutlets with bread dumplings and braised red cabbage.

The best liver to use for the dumplings is calf's liver because it is tender with a minimum of gristle.


For the Soup:

  • 2 pounds beef neck bones, or 1 pound beef chuck or other soup meat

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 2 large carrots, peeled

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 stalk celery

  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

For the Liver Dumplings:

  • 1 pound calf liver, cleaned and finely ground

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs, as needed

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk, more as needed

Steps to Make It

Make the Soup 

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large saucepan, place beef neck bones, onion, whole carrots, tomato paste, whole rib of celery, and 6 cups water.

  3. Cook until meat is tender. Strain, reserving the broth. Return broth to the saucepan and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

Make the Dumplings 

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large bowl, combine ground liver, egg, garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and breadcrumbs, adjusting with milk if too thick.

  3. Shape into walnut-sized balls. Bring broth to a boil and drop dumplings in. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer partially covered for 15 minutes.

  4. While dumplings are cooking, cut meat from bones into bite-sized pieces and cut the carrots and celery into bite-sized pieces.

  5. When dumplings are cooked, return meat and vegetables to soup, if desired, but most Czech liver dumpling soups feature a clear broth.

  6. Serve and enjoy!