A Deliciously Tasty Liver Dumpling Soup Recipe

Liver isn’t something most people think of when it comes to meat in their meals, but it’s a nutrient-dense protein that’s common in many European kitchens. This organ has little, if any, fat and doesn’t produce gristle, making it cook cleaner alone or added to any dish. You can make liver into dumplings to make them tempting and delicious when you make this soup recipe.

Where Did Liver Dumpling Soup Come From?

Liver dumpling soup is popular in Germany and surrounding countries. Many people remember having their grandmother or great-grandparent making this soup in their native countries or after immigrating to America. You may even see this traditional dish served at important events like weddings.

Interestingly, you can find Amish versions of this soup as well. Many Amish in America have roots in Switzerland, Russia, Holland, Germany, and surrounding areas. They, too, brought their beloved, traditional liver dumpling soup recipes with them and continue to prepare it for their families today.

Here Is a Traditional Liver Dumpling Soup Recipe

Anyone who’s had liver dumpling soup as a part of their meal rotation will likely insist that their version is the traditional one passed down to them. And they’re right – but so is every other person who makes any variation of the recipe. Their recipe likely includes ingredients specific to a region and the ingredients available at that time.

This is one of the traditional recipes. But remember, you’re in the driver’s seat when you make it. You, too, can adapt and adjust as needed.


  • 1 lb of beef liver (may substitute with the same amount of chicken liver)
  • 3 ½ oz slab of bacon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or other cooking oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • ½ cup of parsley (1 tbsp if using dried herb)
  • 2 eggs (large if possible – may use 3 medium or 4 small eggs if needed)
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 ¼ cup of bread crumbs
  • 6 cups of water
  • 8 cups of beef broth


  1. Rinse off the liver and pat dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.
  2. Cut the liver and bacon into small cubes and place them in a blender.
  3. In a pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, dice the onion, add it to the pan, and cook until translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Next, chop your parsley if using fresh.
  5. Add your onion and parsley to the meat in the blender and blend briefly.
  6. Add the eggs to the blender and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
  7. Add marjoram, nutmeg, allspice, salt, pepper, and breadcrumbs to the mixture in the large bowl. Mix well. (Mix with hands if possible. You may use plastic gloves if desired.)
  8. Set the meat and herb mixture aside for around 20 minutes.
  9. While the mixture rests, bring the water to a boil in a large pot.
  10. Using your hands, form the mixture into your dumplings about 1 ½ to 2 inches around (about the size of a walnut).
  11. Gently lower your dumplings into the boiling water using a slotted spoon. Do not drop them in. Your boiling water will splash out and possibly burn you.
  12. Once all the dumplings are in the water, set the pot to medium heat and boil for around 20 minutes.
  13. While the dumplings cook, heat your beef broth. You may use your microwave, but be careful when transferring the hot liquid.
  14. When the dumplings are cooked, add the desired number to a bowl and cover them with hot beef broth to serve.

Once you’ve made this recipe, you’ll get an idea of what ingredients you like and may want to change. Even though this is a traditional soup, your changes make it a new traditional recipe in your kitchen.

Alternative Methods for Your Liver Dumpling Soup

You never have to follow the directions of a recipe to the letter, and this one is no different. You can use many different ingredients and techniques to make your soup easier, tastier, or more aligned with your preferences.

Here are some ideas to get you thinking about changes you may want to make:

  • If you want a meatier soup, add beef chuck or neck bones to the broth and boil until fully cooked. Remove any bones before serving.
  • Add vegetables like carrots, celery, or cabbage to the broth. You’ll get a different texture and flavor while adding additional fiber and nutrition with veggies.
  • Add tomato paste (1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired flavor) to the soup broth while heating/cooking. This will bring out the flavor of the beef broth and make it have a richer flavor.
  • Serve the soup over rice or noodles. Let the soup sit over the rice/noodles for at least five minutes to allow the starch to absorb some of the liquid.
  • Fry some onions or buy the crispy, packaged ones to sprinkle over the soup before serving.
  • If you’re using chicken livers instead of beef, try switching your broth to chicken. The flavor will be completely different but still delectable.
  • If you’re comfortable with it, cook your dumplings directly in your broth instead of the water. This may result in a cloudier-looking soup, but the flavor will be elevated in a significant way.
  • Add different herbs and spices like garlic, sage, rosemary, or thyme. Try one at a time, or combine them into one. (You may want to leave out the marjoram when using some spices. Less is more in this recipe.)
  • If you don’t have breadcrumbs or need to use up stale rolls or bread, make your own breadcrumbs. Use a food processor, grater, or another method until they’re as small as desired. You can also add some flavor to your crumbs with herbs and spices.
  • For those short on time, you may be able to get your liver ground for you at the butcher. Many offer this at no extra charge.
  • Sliced bacon can be switched out for the slab. It’s slippery and can be tough to cut, but half of the work is already done for you in the slicing.
  • If you have a small ice cream scoop, use it to scoop out your dumplings. It might not have as nice a shape as if you did it by hand, but it’s clean and convenient.
  • Squeeze or put a dollop of your favorite mustard into the dumpling mixture.
  • Some people can’t imagine eating liver. If you have those people in your family, you can switch out the liver for ground pork or beef. The soup will no longer be a “liver” soup, but you’ll have a new, delicious flavor profile servable to everyone.

Preparation and seasoning are vital to making this dumpling soup. Once you’ve figured out how you like it best, be sure to add the final recipe to your recipe box or folder. You’ll be reaching for it frequently until you remember it by heart.

Now You Can Make Your Own Liver Dumpling Soup at Home

Whether you’ve had liver dumpling soups with your family, had it at a restaurant, or tried some at an Oktoberfest, your version of this soup will become your favorite. Try the recipe as-is at first and then adjust as needed. Your traditional Liver Dumpling Soup will bring people together as part of your own family tradition at home.

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