Taste tradition through this hearty soup – part of many German couples’ love stories.

Served at every traditional German wedding, hochzeitssuppe is a hearty soup that highlights the many facets of a relationship, with a variety of flavors and textures that blend well together in the same bowl. Whether you’re soon tying the knot, celebrating an anniversary or simply cooking dinner for your other half, this hearty soup will warm you from head to toe and deserves a place in your fall/winter recipe rotation.

Ingredients

Broth:

Chicken: 1 to 1 1/2 lbs chicken pieces with bone (traditionally wings, neck, spine and legs)
Beef: 1/2 lb. chuck roast or top chuck
Beef soup bone: 1 large (short ribs, knuckle or neck bones work best)
Leek: 1 cleaned and cut into 4 pieces
Onions: 2 large, halved
Parsley: 1 bunch
Cloves: 8
Salt and pepper to taste

Vegetables:

Carrots: 3-4, chopped
Asparagus spears: 8 (traditionally white asparagus)
Leek: 1/2, cleaned and sliced (optional)
Cauliflower: 1/2 head chopped (optional)
Green peas: 1 cup

Meatballs:

Sausage meat or Thüringer Mett (German minced raw pork): 1/3 lb.
Ground beef: 1/3 lb.
1 egg
Breadcrumbs: 2-3 tbsp

The Eierstich (egg custard):

Milk: 1 cup
2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
A pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

Noodles:

1 1/2 cups of plain, wide egg noodles
Parsley for garnish

Preparation:

1. Put all ingredients for broth except salt in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and add about 1 tbsp salt – evaporation can make the soup too salty if you add more. Simmer over low heat for 4 hours, skimming as necessary.
2. Remove meat and vegetables. Save for another meal or discard.
3. Strain the broth to filter fine particles and refrigerate. Skim fat before use.
4. Preparing the Eierstich (or the Royale): Heat milk until boiling. In the meantime, beat together eggs, egg yolks, nutmeg and salt. While whisking, slowly pour hot milk into the mixture to temper the eggs. Let settle and then pour through a fine strainer into a custard dish or ramekin. Next, take a large dish or deep roasting pan and place ramekin inside of it. Pour hot water into larger dish or roasting pan so it is 2/3 full. Place into the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let Eierstich settle for 20 minutes. Once cool, cut into bite-size pieces.
5. Preparing the vegetables: Boil until a fork tender.
6. For the meatballs: Mix the ingredients, roll into balls and boil in water for 5 to 7 minutes.
7. Boil about 1 ½ cups of plain, wide egg noodles to make 2 cups of cooked. Drain.
8. Arrange the ingredients in the soup bowl. Use 4 meatballs and 4 pieces of Eierstich per bowl, about 2 tablespoons of carrot and other vegetables, and 1/4 cup of noodles.
9. Ladle about 1 cup of hot broth over the soup, garnish with parsley and serve. Raisins are also occasionally added.

Makes 8-10 servings.

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