German Wedding Soup (Hochzeitssuppe)

German wedding soup

Jasmin Awad / Getty Images

Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Make broth a day ahead or buy.: 4 hrs
Total: 5 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
784 Calories
40g Fat
26g Carbs
78g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 784
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 40g 51%
Saturated Fat 13g 63%
Cholesterol 395mg 132%
Sodium 665mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 10%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 78g
Vitamin C 8mg 40%
Calcium 159mg 12%
Iron 7mg 41%
Potassium 1030mg 22%
*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.)

Wedding soup in Germany has many regional variations but the most common is a clear broth with various garnishes. "Hochzeitssuppe", or Wedding Soup" is fun to make but takes time, so it is mostly made for special occasions.

Ingredients

For the Broth:

  • 2 to 3 pounds chicken, wings, backs, and necks

  • 1 pound beef stew meat

  • 1 large meaty beef bone

  • 1 stalk leek, cleaned and cut into 4 pieces

  • 1 small celeriac, or 4 stalks celery, in large pieces

  • 2 onions, peeled but left whole

  • 1 parsley root, or parsnip, cut into large pieces

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 8 whole cloves

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 4 quarts cold water

For the Vegetables:

  • 3 to 4 carrots, cut into small dice

  • 8 white asparagus spears, peeled, and cut into 1-inch sections

  • 1/2 stalk leek, optional

  • 1/2 cauliflower, optional

  • 1 green onion, sliced, optional

  • 1 cup green peas, optional

For the Meatballs:

  • 4 ounces bulk sausage meat, or "​Thüringer Mett"

  • 4 ounces ground beef

  • 1 large egg, or egg white

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons bread crumbs

For the Eierstich:

  • 1 cup milk

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • 1 pinch nutmeg, freshly ground

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Rest:

  • 2 cups cooked flat egg noodles

  • Chopped chives or parsley, for garnish

Steps to Make It

To Make the Broth

  1. Place all ingredients except salt for the broth in a large stockpot and cover with 4 quarts of cold water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and add the salt (start with about 1 tablespoon and don't add more until the end, because the evaporation could make it too salty).

  2. Simmer over low heat for 4 hours, skimming the scum as necessary.

  3. Remove meat and vegetables. You may choose to eat them in another meal or discard. Most of the flavor was extracted into the broth.

  4. Run the broth through several layers of cheesecloth to filter the fine particles and refrigerate broth.

  5. The day of the special meal: Remove any hardened fat from the top of the broth. To further clarify the broth you may use 3 egg whites. Place them in the cold broth and stir as the broth comes to a simmer. After a few minutes, strain the broth again through cheesecloth into a clean pan. The egg whites trap other proteins and sediment.

  6. Heat broth shortly before serving time and keep very hot, but not boiling.

To Make the "Eierstich" or Royale

  1. Using 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks with 1 cup of milk or cream, prepare the "Eierstich" according to the directions in this recipe.

  2. Cool and cut into bite-sized pieces shortly before serving.

To Precook the Vegetables

Each vegetable you choose to have in your soup should be cut small. Half inch dice or small florets that fit on the spoon and in the mouth.

Everyone can fight over which vegetables should be included, but in the springtime, it is usually white asparagus and carrot (for the color).

  1. Boil the vegetables until al dente, leaving the carrot until last so it will not discolor the others. You may also cook them with any method you like. Keep them separate and warm.

To Cook the Meatballs

  1. Bring a pot of water to a simmer. Mix the ingredients for the meatballs thoroughly.

  2. Form small meatballs using about 2 teaspoons of meat.

  3. Drop them in the water and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.

  4. Drain and keep warm. You should have about 32 meatballs.

To Cook the Noodles

  1. Boil about 1 1/2 cups of plain, wide egg noodles to make 2 cups of cooked.

  2. Drain.

To Assemble the Wedding Soup

  1. Make an assembly line with each ingredient and the hot broth at the end of it.

  2. Place the ingredients attractively in the soup bowl. Use 4 meatballs and 4 pieces of royale per bowl, about 2 tablespoons of carrot and other vegetables, and 1/4 cup of noodles. This is an appetizer, it need not be filling.

  3. Ladle about 1 cup of hot broth over the soup, garnish with parsley and/or chives and carry to the table and place in front of each guest.

Serving Wedding Soup Tips

  • These soups made with clear broth are usually assembled by placing cooked ingredients in the individual bowl, then pouring hot broth on top and serving immediately. Cooking the ingredients in the broth would cloud the broth and some of the ingredients will fall apart with intense handling.
  • Assembling the soup is, therefore, best done by creating an assembly line of sorts in the kitchen and having a helper serve the soup as it is created. This is easy in a restaurant but a home cook will be less familiar with this method.
  • On the good side, with the assembly line method, each serving contains the same amount of each garnish and can be arranged especially attractively.
  • After everyone has a bowl, they can begin eating. When done, you may choose to distribute leftover broth to those who want it.
  • Bread is not usually served with this soup, but you might choose to have some on the table. Bread is usually not served with butter for the first courses.

Recipe Variation

  • Making the broth (optional): Start the broth the day before. You may choose to skip making the broth entirely and buy 2 to 3 quarts of good quality, packaged broth instead.