Germans have a versatile culture and like their traditions vary from region to region and so does their cuisine. "Hochzeitssuppe" or Wedding Soup" is customary for weddings all over the country. Just like the German culture, this soup also has many regional variations and almost every family makes it differently. However, the common soup served at German weddings is a clear broth with different vegetables and meatballs. It is a simple but time consuming recipe in which all of the major ingredients are prepared separately and are then placed in individual bowls, broth is poured over the cooked ingredients and served immediately.
Chicken parts (wings, backs and necks) - 2 - 3 lb
Soup beef - 1 lb
Soup bone - 1 large
Leek - 1, cleaned and cut into 4 pieces
Celeriac knoll or 4 sticks of celery in large pieces - 1 small
Onions, peel and whole - 2
Parsley (or parsnip) root, cut into large pieces - 1
Bay leaves - 3
Cloves - 8 whole
Salt and Pepper - to taste
Cold water - 4 quarts
Carrots, small dice (traditional) - 3 - 4
White asparagus spears (traditional) peeled and cut into 1 inch sections - 8
Leek (optional) - ½
Cauliflower (optional) - ½
Green onion, sliced (optional) - 1
C. green peas - 1
Meat balls -
Sausage meat or "Thüringer Mett" - 4 oz
Ground beef - 4 oz
Egg or egg white - 1
T. bread crumbs - 2 - 3
c. Milk - 1
Eggs - 2
Egg yolks - 2
Freshly ground nutmeg
Salt - ½ tsp
Prepare broth: Put all the ingredients, except salt, in a large cooking pot, cover it with four quarts of water and bring to boil on medium high heat. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat, add salt to taste and allow it to simmer for four hours. Once the broth is ready, strain it using a sieve set on a large bowl. Save the meat and vegetables to eat them in another meal or discard. Run the strained broth through a clean cheesecloth to filter it and place in the fridge.
Prepare vegetables: Cut all the vegetables into half inch cubes or small florets and boil them over medium heat and until crisp tender. Strain the vegetables and keep them separate and warm.
Prepare the meat balls: Mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Meanwhile, bring a medium-sized pot of water to a simmer. Use two teaspoons full of the batter to make small meatballs (at least 32), drop them in simmering water and let them cook for five to seven minutes. Drain the meatballs and keep them warm.
Prepare the Eierstich: Whisk eggs, egg yolks, salt and nutmeg in a medium sized bowl. While whisking constantly, pour hot milk (just below the boiling point) into the eggs. Run the mixture through a fine sieve and transfer it to a custard dish. Place the custard dish inside a large baking dish containing water and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until set. Let the Eierstich cool for 20 minutes before unmolding and cutting into shapes of your choice.
Assemble the Wedding soup: In small serving bowl, place two tablespoons of cooked vegetables, four meat balls, four pieces of Eierstich and ¼ cup of noodles. Pour about one cup of hot broth into the bowl and garnish it with parsley and serve.