Today in Louisiana it is cool. Well, cool for Louisiana. Not like cool was in PA. This is practically a heatwave for there. However, because it is “cool,” I wanted to warm up my kitchen and my body. My husband will tell you that I am cold… all the time. I am the stereotypical wife that warms her ice-like toes on her husband. So nothing sounded better to me today than my Grandma Bert’s Haluski Soup. Many people when they think of haluski, think of the fried cabbage and noodles tossed together, and while that is something I do make (usually with the leftover dumplings from this soup), haluski in my family has always been used to refer to the dumplings.
This soup brings not only warmth to the body, but warmth to my soul. Anytime I make this soup, my mind is flooded with memories of visiting my grandparents house. They lived 2 hours away from us growing up and every time we would visit Grandma Bert would have a steaming pot of this soup waiting for us on the stove. I remember making this recipe for the first time with my mom and reading the ingredients just as my grandma had told my mom to write it. It still makes me laugh when I think about her measuring skills; to Grandma Bert a “cup” of flour meant a coffee mug of flour, not a measuring cup. She would tell my mom, “No, not a cup, a CUP.”
The recipe is by far my favorite to make. Though it is a little bit time consuming (mainly for the stock/broth part, which I recommend making the night before) it is well worth all the effort. So without further ado here we go. We’ll start with making the broth.
In a large stock pot place your bone in, skin on chicken breasts. This time I also added in what we had left in the refrigerator of a rotisserie chicken from the store. The meat had been mostly picked off but the bones add great flavor. Also add in your peeled carrots, celery, and onion. Then, add enough water to cover it all (I don’t measure the water, I just eyeball it). Then place on the stove and bring to a boil. Boil this for several hours. I boiled mine for about 3 hours the night before and 3 hours the next day.
*Tip: The reason I refrigerate the stock overnight is that any fat that boils out of the chicken will rise to the top and thicken. Then, you can skim it off the top. It makes for a less greasy soup and I prefer that.
Once you have finished boiling, strain the broth into another stock pot, or as I have done here into a crock pot.
Allow the chicken to cool, then shred and return to the broth. Discard the skin and bones that remain. At this point, I generally will taste the broth and add a bouillon cube or two to enhance the flavor if necessary.
Now the haluski. These dumplings are the perfect compliment to this soup and they hold up very well. I keep them separate from the broth until I’m ready to serve it, because that’s the way I learned. I would recommend it as they will probably absorb some of the broth.
Fill a large stockpot half full with water and bring to a boil.
In a bowl combine the eggs, water, baking powder, and salt. Beat well with a hand mixer.
Then add your flour about 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. I used about 2 actual cups of flour (not Grandma Bert cups). You’ll know it’s ready when it starts to creep up the mixture attachments.
Now the fun part. Drop the batter into the boiling water in small chunks. You can do this with a spoon if you don’t have one of these awesome spaetzel makers (the thing that looks like a cheese grater), though I highly recommend getting one. They aren’t very expensive and they make the perfect size dumplings. Yes, spaetzel is the German word; haluski is the Slovak.
This is my pot of gold for St. Patrick’s Day!
Boil these for 10-12 minutes until the are fully cooked then drain.
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