Kluski Noodle Soup

A big pot of soup will fill your house with an intoxicating aroma.  I really like to make big batches of soup to eat some now and freeze some for later.  This Kluski Noodle Soup is a tribute to my Pennsylvania Dutch heritage, and it is a wonderful way to use up some leftovers by transforming them into something different and delicious.

I have no idea of how these noodles with the Polish name became associated with Pennsylvania Dutch cooking.  I suppose there is a story there.  All I know is that these dried egg noodles are sold dried in bags throughout Pennsylvania Dutch country.  They are about ¼ inch wide, and come in different lengths.  Of course, noodles are pretty simple to make from scratch, so I made my own.

The Kluski Noodle Soup I grew up with features poultry (chicken or turkey), various vegetables, and the noodles in a rich broth.

Let’s start by making the stock.  I used the carcasses from two deep fried turkeys.  I added some carrots, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaves, black peppercorns, salt, and sprigs of thyme.  Let it come to a low boil and then simmer for 24+ hours.  Strain and cool the stock.  Two turkey carcasses made 12 quarts of stock.  Once it is cool, I skimmed off the fat and packaged 8 quarts for the freezer.  Four quarts go for the soup of the day, Kluski Noodle Soup.

Reheat four quarts of stock on medium heat.  Taste it to adjust seasonings as needed.  Add in four cups of chopped celery, four cups chopped carrots, and 2 cups chopped leeks. Let the mixture come to a low boil and then turn back to low heat.  Add in a quart of whole canned tomatoes.

I used some leftover deep fried turkey.  Remove any pieces of skin.  Cut into bite sized pieces.  About eight cups of turkey is good for a batch this size.  Simmer the pot for an hour or two until all of the vegetables are cooked.

Next, make the noodles.  Put 2-1/2 cups of flour in a bowl.  Make a well in the pile of flour.  Crack three eggs into the well.  Add 1T softened butter and 1/2t salt to the well in the flour.  You may mix this with a stand mixer or use a fork to blend into dough.  It will be very stiff.  Add 1-2T of water if needed.  Knead the dough until it is very smooth and not sticky.  If you added too much water, add a bit more flour.

Wrap the ball of dough in plastic and let it sit for 30 minutes.  Cut the ball into eight pieces.  If you have a pasta roller, run each of the 8 balls through the roller on successive settings until it is thin enough to see through.  Don’t be concerned if the dough seems too thin because these noodles will puff up when cooked.  If you don’t have a pasta machine, then use a rolling pin to roll the dough as thin as possible.  Use added flour to keep it from sticking.  Cut the dough into ¼ inch noodles.  I like them about a foot or more long, but you can make them whatever length you like.

Bring the soup pot back to a low boil.  Add the noodles into the broth and stir after each addition to keep the noodles from clumping.

Once all of the noodles are cooked (which takes about 3-5 minutes in the hot broth), turn the heat back to low or simmer.  Finish the soup with ½ cup of minced flat leaf parsley.  Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.


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