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What Can I Add to Soups to Make Them More Satisfying?

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One of the things my husband complained about with  soup meal was that it was not satisfying enough - he felt like he didn't eat and was hungry soon afterward.  We treated soups more as a "snack" for years, but I also searched out things to add to a soup meal to make it more satisfying.  Here are the things I found that helped....


1.  DUMPLINGS – light and fluffy version

2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup warm water


chopped chives or parsley if desired for garnish

Combine flour, salt and baking powder. Add oil and water and mix until smooth. Add a bit more water until dumplings are soft and not at all dry.  Bring broth to a boil and add dumplings by spoonful. Reduce heat and cook dumplings 4-5 minutes. (Do in batches if you are using a small pan.)  Serve dumplings in broth garnished with chopped parsley or chives as desired.

Expert Tips

Measure out the ingredients for your dumplings by spooning dry ingredients into a standard measuring cup, then leveling the top with a straight-edge metal spatula or knife. Don’t scoop or pack the ingredients down.

Be sure the broth is bubbling before dropping in the dumplings so the bottoms cook well at the start. Lower the heat to finish slowly cooking the dumplings completely, so they aren't soggy and doughy in the centers.

Stir in a teaspoon of your favorite dried herb into the dry mixture before adding the oil and water, or sprinkle the dumplings with some grated Parmesan cheese before serving.

Drop your dumplings by spoonfuls into boiling broth making sure they are consistent in size to ensure even cooking. Oversized dumplings tend not to hold their shape and fall apart while cooking.

You can easily make a creamier broth by adding a little cream or milk to your broth.



2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp cold salted butter, cubed

1 cup milk

Pour 2 quarts of chicken stock or broth into a large pot and start warming it up on the stove top while you make the dumplings..

In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Then add in cubed butter.  Combine using your fingers, fork or pastry cutter.  Pour in the milk. Mix it all together.  Dust your counter with a generous amount of flour. Place dumpling dough on the counter and dust it with more flour.  With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to about 1/4" thickness.  Be sure to add flour as necessary to keep it from sticking underneath or to your rolling pin.  Using a knife or a pizza cutter, start cutting out your dumplings into squares.  Dust dumplings with a bit more flour. The extra flour is all gonna help keep them from sticking but will also thicken your chicken broth some as well when you add them to the pot.  Bring chicken broth up to a boil. Add in shredded chicken and stir.  Begin adding dumplings one at a time so they don't all stick together. Stir frequently while adding them.

Allow dumplings to cook for about 15-20 minutes. You should notice your broth starting to thicken (from the extra flour) and your dumplings may start to sink a little to the bottom because they are soaking up the broth. Take one out and taste test it. It shouldn't have a doughy taste anymore.


2.  RIVELS                                SERVES: 6-8

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 large eggs

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

10 cups chicken broth

Bring broth to a boil while you make the rivels.

To make rivels:

Put flour and salt in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, scramble eggs with a fork.  Add eggs to flour/salt mixture and "rivel 'em up" (just stir around with a fork until mixture becomes crumbly).  Drop by small handfuls into boiling broth.

Boil for 15 minutes and enjoy!

**If the broth isn't flavorful enough, add some chicken soup base.  **You can pinch some of the dough together to get bigger "rivels".  **You can also add cooked chicken to the soup.  **Also works well with ham or beef broth.



The word Spätzle literally means “little sparrows” in English but they are also called Knöpfle in Germany because they look like little buttons.  There  is a bigger version that is called Spatzen (“sparrows“). They taste like the little ones but are sized like small potatoes and you don’t .need special equipment to make them.

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp salt

8 large eggs

3/4 cup milk

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, eggs, milk, and salt. Stir until the batter is well combined and develops bubbles. You can also use a mixer. The batter should neither be too thin nor too thick or it will be difficult to make the spaetzle with your spaetzle maker. Let the batter sit for 5-10 min.

Put a colander into a bowl to drain the Spaetzle once cooked and bring a large pot of water over high heat to a boil, add about 1 Tbsp of salt to the water, and reduce temperature to a simmer.

Press batter through a spaetzle maker, a large holed sieve or colander into the simmering water.

Work in batches, after using about 1/3 of the batter stop adding new spaetzle and let them cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until they float to the top. Stir occasionally. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the spaetzle to the colander so that excess water can drip off.

Serve the spaetzle immediately or saute them in butter to crisp them up a little. If you don't serve or saute them right away, add 1 or 2 Tbsp of butter to the hot spaetzle to prevent them from sticking together.


UPDATE 10/23/19: Recipe has been re-tested because of reader feedback and amount of milk has been increased from 1/3 cup+2 T

.bsp to 3/4 cup of milk.This makes a big batch of Spaetzle that is perfect for a big family dinner.

Clean used equipment with cold water, the dough is very sticky and gets stickier when using hot water.

Leftover Spaetzle can be stored, tossed with some melted butter, in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To reheat, saute them in some butter.



PREP TIME: 10 MIN                 COOK TIME: 30 MIN

3 cups / 430g of all purpose flour

2 eggs

1 1/4 cup / 300 ml of water

1/4 tsp salt


In a small bowl beat eggs to mix yolks with whites. Place flour in a large mixing bowl, add eggs and salt. Slowly start adding water and beat on low until blended well.*

Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil. Add a couple of tablespoons of salt and a splash of oil to the water.

With a metal spoon form dumplings the size of a walnut or so, and drop into the boiling water by submerging the spoon in the water. For this recipe, I do it in three batches, not to overcrowd the pot. Once dumplings are dropped, with a wooden spoon gently stir the water to make sure dumplings aren't sticking together.  Turn water to low simmer and boil for 3-4 minutes from the moment they float to the top.  Remove with a hand strainer and place on a colander. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of oil to prevent from sticking, if not serving right away.  To reheat, saute in butter.


5.  KLUSKI DO RESOLU (chicken soup-style noodles)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs (beaten)

4 to 6 tablespoons water

Steps to Make It

In the bowl of a stand mixer or food processor (or by hand), combine flour and salt. Add eggs and enough water so dough forms into a ball.  Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 to 8 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes.

Roll out dough on a floured surface as thinly as possible. Do not cover. Let dry for 30 minutes but no longer otherwise it will crack when you try to cut it.  Either roll the dough into a cylinder and slice, or slice dough into 3-inch wide strips, flour and stack them on top of each other, then slice 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch across. 

Scatter noodles across a floured surface so they don't stick together. Let dry 30 minutes. Cook in boiling, salted water 5 to 10 minutes, depending on thickness and your preference. Drain.

If you want to save the noodles for later use, make sure they are completely dry before storing.


6.  EGG BARLEY or Hungarian Grated Egg Noodles (Tarhonya)   Makes 3 cups

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

In a large bowl, stand mixer or food processor, combine flour and salt. Add the eggs and mix until a shaggy dough forms. The dough should be moist enough to be able to clump into a rough ball when clasped in the hand. If not, add a partial egg or whole egg.  Make fist-size balls and let rest, covered, for 15 minutes. Grate through the large holes of a grater, spreading out the crumbles on a clean surface or tablecloth. Let them dry a few hours before using or dry for two days before packaging for storage.  Tarhonya can be boiled directly in soup broth or in water and then added to soup (freshly made tarhonya will take less time to cook than dried), or they can be browned and made into a side dish known as piritott tarhonya.


7.  EGG NOODLES                   Servings: 6

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup milk

2 eggs

1 tsp. Canola or olive oil

2 tsp. Salt

In a medium bowl stir together flour and salt.  Make a “well” or depression in the center of your flour mixture.

Pour eggs, milk and oil into the center. Mix well.  Dough will be sticky, and it will smooth out while you knead.

Lightly sprinkle flour onto a clean counter or tabletop surface.  Knead dough for 5 minutes.

Roll dough out into a large rectangle, making it as thin as you can-almost translucent is ideal if you have the arm muscles for it.

Let noodles rest for 30 minutes, covered, to allow gluten to relax.

Cut noodles using a sharp knife, or my favorite-a pizza cutter. Make them any size you like, for general purpose I make mine about ½” wide by 3” long.

To prepare:

drop noodles into boiling water, cook for 12-14 minutes, noodles float to the top and will be fork tender when they are ready, scoop noodles out with a slotted spoon to drain.  You can also mix these in with your favorite recipe.


8.  GERMAN POTATO NOODLES - Badische Schupfnudeln

1 pound potatoes (starchy potatoes such as Russets, about 4 medium potatoes)

2 tablespoon flour (or more)

2 egg yolks

Dash freshly grated nutmeg (or to taste)

1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

2 tablespoon butter

Boil the potatoes in their jackets until done, about 30 minutes.  Peel potatoes and put them through a ricer.

Add the flour, egg yolks, nutmeg, and salt and mix into a stiff dough. Add more flour, if necessary, to make the dough manageable. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.  Place dough on a floured board and form into a log. Cut the log into 16 to 20 pieces.  Form each piece into a tapered cylinder by rolling between your hands. It should be thick in the middle and pointed on the ends.  Melt the butter in a frying pan. Carefully add the noodles in a single layer and sauté on all sides until golden brown.

Remove from pan and serve warm.  Remove from pan and serve warm  Enjoy!


9.  GERMAN POTATO DUMPLINGS - Kartoffel Kloess

3 pounds medium potatoes (about 10), peeled and quartered

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

2/3 cup dry bread crumbs

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

12 cups water


1/2 cup butter, cubed

1 tablespoon chopped onion

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

Place potatoes in a Dutch oven; add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook, uncovered, 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain; transfer to a large bowl.  Mash potatoes. Stir in flour, eggs, bread crumbs, salt and nutmeg. Shape into sixteen (2-in.) balls.  In a Dutch oven, bring 12 cups water to a boil. Carefully add dumplings. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 7-9 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of dumplings comes out clean.

Meanwhile, in a small heavy saucepan, heat butter and onion over medium heat. Heat 5-7 minutes or until butter is golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in bread crumbs. Serve with dumplings.

Nutrition Facts

2 dumplings with 2 tablespoons sauce: 367 calories, 14g fat (8g saturated fat), 100mg cholesterol, 524mg sodium, 51g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 5g fiber), 9g protein.


10.  GNOCCHI                         4 svgs

2 potatoes

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 egg   

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Peel potatoes and add to pot. Cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool and mash with a fork or potato masher.

Combine 1 cup mashed potato, flour and egg in a large bowl. Knead until dough forms a ball. Shape small portions of the dough into long "snakes". On a floured surface, cut snakes into half-inch pieces.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Drop in gnocchi and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until gnocchi have risen to the top; drain and serve.



Quick and Easy Egg Drop Soup Recipe

Prep time: 7 minutes              Cook time: 13 minutes           Yield: Serves 4

Homemade chicken stock is the best for this. Also, if you can't locate any of the mushroom types indicated in the recipe, crimini (aka: baby bellas) will do just fine. Or, you can just leave them out all together.  Ginger is what makes the soup hot and spicy. Dial it down to 1/4 teaspoon if you want a more mild soup.

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

4 cups chicken stock, homemade preferred

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Scant 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

1 tablespoon soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce if cooking gluten-free)

3 green onions, chopped

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

3/4 cup enoki mushrooms or sliced shiitake mushrooms

Make the cornstarch slurry: Measure out 1/2 cup of the stock and mix with the cornstarch until dissolved.

Put stock, ginger, soy sauce, onions, mushrooms, white pepper in pot and bring to boil: Place the remaining chicken stock, ginger, soy sauce, green onions, mushrooms and white pepper in a pot and bring to a boil. 

Stir in the corn starch slurry and reduce heat to a simmer.  Stir in beaten eggs: Slowly pour in the beaten eggs while stirring the soup while stirring slowly. The egg will spread out into ribbons.  Serve: Turn off the heat and garnish with a few more chopped green onions. Serve immediately.



a. Parmesan crisps

Grate parmesan cheese, heat up the oven to 175°C (350°F) , line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a tablespoon of cheese 3 cm (1 inch) apart on a lined baking sheet. Bake for around 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool to firm up before removing.

b. Croutons

Cut bread (preferably stale bread) in equal size chunks, fry in butter or oil and be careful not to burn them.

c. Parma/pancetta crisps

Bake in the oven until dried, let it cool then break in smaller pieces

d. Crumbled bacon

Fry until bacon becomes hard, cool on a paper towel, then break/crumble to smaller pieces

e. Crumbled and fried sausage

Start with removing the casing of the sausage, then crumble it and fry until crisp

f. Grilled halloumi bites  (Halloumi or haloumi (/həˈluːmi/) is a semi-hard, unripened, brined cheese made from a mixture of goat's and sheep's milk, and sometimes also cow's milk. It has a high melting point and so can easily be fried or grilled. Alternatives include Cheese Curds, Paneer, Leipäjuusto, Juustoleipä, Nablusi, Queso Fresco, Vlahotiri, Graviera, Kefalograviera, Kasseri, Fefalotyri, Formaela and Feta )

Cut halloumi to smaller cubes, then fry until golden

g. Toasted nuts and seeds

h. Crispy shallots (or French fried onions)

i. Fried or deep fried vegetables

Save some of the vegetables used in the soup. Chop thinly and fry until crisp. Or chop a little larger pieces if you deep fry it in oil.

j.  tortilla chips:

 Corn tortilla shells

 Olive oil

 Fine grain sea salt

 Your favorite spice blend (I used The Pampered Chef's Chipotle Rub. Try a Mexican seasoning blend, garlic powder, or cayenne pepper.)

Preheat oven to 400F. Brush both sides of desired number of corn tortillas lightly with olive oil. Once all tortilla shells are coated, cut into 10 evenly sized triangles. Lay on a large baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and other spices, if desired. Bake for approximately 5 to 7 minutes, or until tortilla chips are lightly browned and crisp.  Also good cut into strips and baked the same way.

k.  corn chips

l. pita, bagel, or melba crisps

m. Chinese Fried Noodles

8 egg roll wrappers

48 oz vegetable oil

1 large dutch oven or deep fryer

Heat oil to 350°F fahrenheit.  Cut egg roll wrappers about 1/4" wide.  Crispy Chinese Soup Noodles recipe step 2 photo

Separate the strips to make sure they are not sticking together.  Fry in small batches.  Cook until a light golden brown. This takes just seconds. Turn to brown both sides.  Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.    

Top your favorite egg drop, wonton or any soup with these hot little crispy noodles.   

For dessert, top freshly made noodles with powdered sugar. A great way to end a homemade Chinese meal.

n.  Homemade fried noodles (like chow mein noodles)

1 packet Lo Mein or Hakka Noodles (150 g)

1 tablespoon Salt

2 tablespoons Corn flour

About 1 to 1 1/2 cup Canola Oil (or any neutral flavored vegetable oil)

Boil the noodles with salt and a teaspoon of oil till al dente. My rule of thumb is to boil the noodles for 30 seconds less than the package instructions.  Immediately drain them in a colander and wash them thoroughly with cold water.

Once they are completely drained, spread them out in an even layer on a sheet or parchment paper and leave them out to dry for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, sprinkle the noodles with corn flour and toss them well.

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet or frying pan till it starts shimmering (350F/ 180C). You can drop a small piece of noodle in the oil to check if it’s hot enough. If there is no movement in the oil when you drop the noodle, it’s not hot enough.

Keep the heat to medium high, and add a handful of noodles to the oil, spreading them out. Deep fry them for 2-3 minutes till they are a deep golden brown. Do this in batches so that the temperature of the oil does not drop down significantly once you add the noodles. Drain them out on some tissue paper and let them cool completely before using. You can store them in an airtight container for up to 10 days.


13.  Make crackers.



Of course it did not hurt that he liked German food and thought dumplings & noodles were kewl...


Edited by kappydell
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If you are looking to add carbs, potatoes, rice, and pearl barley all go well in most soups.


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I add the croutons, which were listed, or French fried onions for crispiness, flavor and bulk.

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