I don’t generally care for offal, as the taste and flavor of liver and other such “nasty bits” (in the words of Anthony Bourdain) are too strong for me. But Leberknödelsuppe, or Liver dumpling soup, is a whole different kettle of… dumplings.

Leberknödelsuppe is one of those quintessential Bavarian specialties, and like so many of my favorite German foods, it’s simple, traditional, flavorful, and good for the soul – like chicken soup! A few weeks ago, we all had colds, so I thought I would try my hand at making Leberknödelsuppe from scratch.


The sous-chef demands attention!


Mama, you're making some dumplings for me too, aren't you?


Rosebud thinks it's tasty.

Doing a quick search brought up dozens of recipes, like this one from the website “Marions Kochbuch” (Marion’s Cookbook), or this one from “Frag Mutti” (Ask Mom). Clearly, Leberknödelsuppe is a favorite comfort food.

I’m using a recipe from my trusty cookbook, Deutsche Küche.

My husband gave the recipe stellar reviews, and Rosebud thought it was pretty delicious as well.

For me, well, it was too livery. Next time, I am going to add about half the liver called for in the recipe and see if I will appreciate it more. I did have to add more bread crumbs with the amount of liver to get the dumpling mixture to adhere properly, while forming the dumplings.

Here is an English translation in case any of you wish to try it yourselves, but I have typed the German version of the recipe as well, which follows.

Bavarian Liver Dumpling Soup


2 day-old bread rolls (i.e., Kaiser roll would work well)
1/8 liter lukewarm milk (about 6 ounces, or 3/4 cup)
2 eggs, beaten
1 onion, finely chopped
400 grams trimmed and finely ground cow’s liver (a little less than a pound)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 pinch of dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon of zested lemon peel
1 teaspoon salt
1 pinch of freshly ground black pepper
about 1 tablespoon dry breadcrumbs
3/4 liter beef broth (750 ml, or about 24 ounces)

Ingredients for Leberknödelsuppe

Ingredients for Leberknödelsuppe

1. Tear the bread rolls into small pieces. Soak in a little cold water, squeeze out the water, and then put the bread pieces in a bowl. Add the milk and let the bread soak up the milk.

day-old bread, torn into bits

day-old bread, torn into bits


breadcrumbs soaked in milk

2. Beat the eggs, then pour over the bread. Add the onion, liver, parsley, marjoram, lemon zest, salt, pepper and breadcrumbs. Mix together well and knead until it forms a workable, pliable dough.


adding the ingredients to the bowl (minus the liver)


stirring in the liver

3. Form 12 walnut-sized dumplings out of the dough. Bring 1 1/2 liters (50 ounces) salted water to a boil. Gently add the dumplings and simmer for 20 minutes, until the dumplings are cooked through.


dumpling mixture


formed dumplings, ready to be cooked

4. While the dumplings are simmering in the salted water, heat the bouillon and keep warm until read to serve. Then divide the bouillon into soup bowls and add the hot liver dumplings. If you wish, garnish with chopped parsley.


Ta-da! Leberknödelsuppe!


2 altbackene Brötchen
1/8 liter lauwarme Milch
2 Eier
1 Zwiebel
400 gram geschabte oder durchgedrehte Rinderleber
1 EL gehackte Petersilie
1 Prise getrockneter Majoran
1/2 TL abgeriebene Zitronenschale
1 TL Salz
1 Prise schwarzer Pfeffer
etwa 1 EL Semmelbrösel
3/4 liter würzige Bouillon

1. Die Brötchen in kleine Stücke reißen und in kaltem Wasser einweichen. Die Brötchen dann gut ausdrücken, in eine Schüssel geben und mit der Milch übergießen.

2. Die Eier über die Brötchen schlagen. Die Zwiebel sehr fein hacken. Die Leber, die Petersilie, den gerebelten Majoran, die Zitronenschale, die Zwiebelwürfelchen, das Salz, den Pfeffer und die Semmelbrösel zugeben und zu einem geschmeidigen Teig verkneten.

3. 12 etwa walnußgroße Klößchen aus dem Teig formen. Etwa 1 1/2 liter Salzwasser zum Kochen bringen. Die Leberknödel ins siedende Salzwasser legen und in etwa 20 Minuten bei schwacher Hitze gar ziehen lassen.

4. Inzwischen die Bouillon erhitzen, in Suppentassen anrichten und die Leberknödel in die heiße Bouillon legen.

Pro Person: ca. 320 Kcal.


4 responses to “Leberknödelsuppe

  1. You may be able to get away with using less liver; your knoedeln are darker than I remember. You might also want to try it with either pork or lamb liver; they’re both a bit milder than beef liver. I liked both of them when I was over there; they’re impossible to find here.

  2. bowmansinbavaria

    Oh, thanks for the tips about the pork or lamb liver. It hadn’t occurred to me that those liver flavors will be milder but that makes a lot of sense. I will definitely try one or the other, along with using less liver. Some of the recipes I found online used about half of what my recipe called for, so I am hopeful I’ll find the right kind of liver and amount so that I can be just as enthusiastic as David and Rosebud over Leberknödeln!

  3. Matthew Spencer

    I will try to make the soup this weekend. It seems delicious.

    • bowmansinbavaria

      Awesome! You will have to tell us how you like it – a word of advice, with the amount of liver I used, I needed to add a lot more dried breadcrumbs. I think if you reduce the liver to about half the amount, the consistency would be better. On the other hand, if you’re a fan of liver, then go for the greater amount!

      I got your package this afternoon! I am going to open it when David comes home from work. Mmmm, homemade jam. 🙂 Thank you so much – that was great to get in the mail.

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