Our Grandma's Chicken Soup with Spätzli or Spaetzle

Spätzle (Bavarian), Spätzli (Swiss) or Spaetzle (Americanized) – pronounced “spet-zul”, are soft, easy-to-make last-minute homemade noodles.  Our Swiss-German grandmother served them in chicken soup - and it's that time of year again.
I can't believe people will actually buy dried spaetzle or use a fancy maker to drop them.  They are so easy to stir up!
The secret to getting these right is beating well to get a slightly elastic batter.  Grandma poured the dough into a fairly flat salad plate and cut off the noodles right into the bubbly broth with a table knife.   A smaller cutting board works too.   If you like knöpfle, or little knobs of dumplings, just drop pieces with two spoons.  
The spaetzle are done when they rise to the top; they should be delicate and light, but slightly chewy.  If the first one or two are too doughy, add some milk.  If you double this recipe, cook in two batches so you will not have some done before you can get all of them in the pan.
To serve spaetzle as a side dish, cook in water or plain broth, drain and serve with browned butter and crumbs.  The noodle batter has only 4 ingredients and costs only 20¢ to make.
     3/4    cup  Celery -- finely diced
     3/4    cup  Carrots -- grated
     3/8    cup  Onion -- finely chopped
  1 1/2    quarts Rich Chicken or Turkey Broth
       1      pint Canned Chicken or Turkey (Optional)
  1          Large Egg -- beaten
     1/4    teaspoon  Salt
1/2-2/3 cup  Flour, All-purpose
     2        tablespoons Milk
Soup: Cook vegetables in chicken broth until tender, 15-20 minutes.  Add chicken if desired, and keep soup simmering while adding batter.
Spaetzle: Beat eggs; add salt and flour, add milk gradually.  Beat well.  Batter should be fairly thick and elastic.  Pour batter into a flat plate sprayed with cooking spray.  Tilt the plate slightly over the bubbling broth and slice off small noodles with a table knife into the soup.  Let them cook, about 5 minutes or so, until they are floating on top.
Serve with sprinkles of chopped parsley.
4 Servings as a main dish soup


  1. Yumm!! My grandparents came from Switzerland when they were both young. They met, married and became dairy farmers in Tillamook Oregon. Spaetzle was a staple at their table when my Mom was growing up. I haven't made spaetzle in a while and I need to. I have a spaetzle maker we picked up on a trip to Switzerland years ago. It is a like a food mill and can be hooked over a tall pot of boiling water. Grandma made her spaetzle with the dough on a cutting board tipped over the pot of water being snipped off with quick flicks of a knife. She served her spaetzle with butter and melted cheese.

  2. I agree with your Grandma...I find using a knife to cut them off is easy..not much to clean up. We had this for lunch today on a cold rainy day.

  3. My Grandmother made this too. German she was, in fact my Mother did not speak English until she went to grade school. Thanks for bringing back such lovely memories and your continuing excellent recipes, photos, and general uplifting positive posts!!


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