Rivel Soup (Potato Soup with Small Dumplings) Recipe

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Tuesday, January 6, 1914:  Nothing much doing.

Rivel SoupHer middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

It’s cold here! I like to make old-fashioned hearty soups, like Rivel Soup, on icy days like today. I wonder if the Muffly’s regularly ate soup during the winter months.

Here’s an old recipe of Rivel Soup. It is a potato soup with small dumplings (rivels).

My family often ate this soup when I was a child. I didn’t like it back then, but now my husband and enjoy this nuanced and mild, yet delectable, soup.

Rivel Soup

4 medium-sized potatoes, diced into very small pieces


2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup flour

1 egg, slightly beaten

2 cups milk

1 cup cream


crumbled crisp bacon

Put the diced potatoes in a large saucepan and just barely cover with water. Cook diced potatoes in water until soft. Add butter and milk.

Meanwhile, to make rivels, combine flour and egg in a bowl.  Drop rivels, which are no larger than a raisin, into the boiling potato mixture, while periodically stirring to prevent the rivels from sticking together.

Cook 5 minutes. Add cream and salt to taste; reheat until hot.  Put into serving bowls and garnish with bacon.

4 servings

29 thoughts on “Rivel Soup (Potato Soup with Small Dumplings) Recipe

  1. We have a family recipe that is much simpler. It is simply an egg, flour and milk. Mix the egg and flower together and make tiny lumps and then crumble into hot milk.

  2. We make a similar soup without the dumplings, homemade soup is the best thing on these cold days 🙂

  3. I love potatoe soup! My grandmother made it fried onions and spicey sausage all blended together once the potatoes were cooked. Warmed the tummy and the spices made me sweat!

  4. This recipe evokes memories of my central PA upbringing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it (rivel) spelled out, though! It’s somehow disconcerting to see a word that I have only heard spoken.

  5. This soup sounds delicious Sheryl and would be very welcome on a cold winter’s day. Perhaps Helena was bored because it was too cold to go outdoors.

  6. I grew up eating this soup! We make the rivels with a teaspoon of baking powder, egg and flour. No bacon , onion or carrots. Add a big piece of butter to the hot soup at the table. Its my favorite comforting winter soup. I grew up in central Ohio. Many years ago I found a similar recipe for rivel soup in a Pennsylvania Dutch cookbook, but we have no Amish connections. Sharon

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