Weather Forecast


Reader shares family favorite soup recipes

Submitted photo

A few weeks ago, I ran a column on soups, with January designated as National Soup month. At that time, I put out a plea for additional soup recipes for a future column, with Joan Blegen responding by sending some of her 'family favorites' to share.

She and her husband, Hubert, moved to West Fargo in 2006, after making their home for a number of years on their farm located between Kindred and Leonard.

Joan is also a longtime member of the District 7 Cattlewomen (since 1975), where she has been privy to a host of excellent recipes, including many focusing on beef base ingredients, including a delicious Meatball Soup .

The Turkey Dumpling, Bean and Ham, and Potato Rivvel soup recipes, were favorites of her mother and grandmother, all 'passed down' for future generations to prepare and savor.

Joan has always enjoyed cooking for her family and friends. She said her husband is treated to a full course dinner every noon." Sometimes he tells me I cook too much. I say eat what you can, and we kind of laugh abut it."

She especially enjoys preparing soup. "It's just a good staple we've had in our family. It's easy to make and it only takes one kettle. The potato soup was my grandmother's recipe so it's been around for a while." Her grandmother, Ernestine Gust, lived a half mile north of Woods, N.D., located just east of Leonard. Joan recalled there used to be an elevator and store and other activity, but now there's just one house left. Her mother was Violet Gust Heidenreich.

"I got a lot of good recipes from both of them," she said, including the one featuring rivvels, which is a new term in my recipe world that I am anxious to try.

The dictionary likens it to a lump that looks like rice. Joan likens it to a mini-dumpling. Whatever, the comparison, we hope you enjoy.

Thanks for the recipes, Joan. If anyone else has any they would like to share, please send them my way.

Until next week, from my kitchen to yours, happy cooking.

Bean and Ham Soup

1 pound great northern beans

3 quarts cold water

1 ham bone

1 large onion, chopped

3 carrots, grated

Soak beans overnight. Drain off water. Add fresh water and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Boil hard for five minutes. Drain and run cold water through beans until water is clear. Put ham bone in large kettle, add beans, 3 quarts cold water (warm water makes cloudy soup) and onion. Simmer for four hours. Add grated carrots and continue simmering another hour. Serve hot with crackers.

Potato Soup with Rivvels

Potatoes, small chunks

1 onion

Water to cover

Boil potatoes until done, five to ten minutes. Add rivvels (recipe below) and boil ten more minutes. Pour in milk to the amount you want and heat. Do not boil. Serve hot. Add butter, and salt and pepper to taste.


1 cup flour

½ tsp. salt

1 egg, beaten with a fork

Mix resembles corn meal mixture, sprinkle over boiling soup.

Meatball Soup

1 ½ pounds ground beef

1 egg

¼ cup dry bread crumbs

1 tsp. thyme

½ tsp. salt

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, sliced

1 can mushrooms

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 pound potatoes, cubed

2 cans (14 ½ oz.) beef broth

1 can (14 ½ oz.) stewed tomatoes

1 tsp. thyme

Combine beef, egg, crumbs, thyme and salt. Make into one inch balls. Brown in oil. Remove balls and set aside. Add carrots, onion and mushrooms. Cook until tender. Put meatballs and vegetable mixture in a large kettle. Add broth, tomatoes and thyme. Bring to a boil and boil 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Turkey Dumpling Soup

Turkey carcass

Celery, chopped

Carrots, sliced

Onion, chopped

Peppercorns (6)

Bay leaf

4 whole cloves

Put all ingredients into a large kettle. Cover with water. Simmer two hours. Cool. Remove bones. Add salt to taste. Reheat by simmering 15 minutes. Make dumplings (recipe below) and drop by spoonfuls onto boiling soup. Cook ten minutes covered, and ten minutes uncovered. Serve hot.

You can use a chicken carcass for this recipe also, but if you do, do not add the four cloves.


2 cups flour

2 tsp. salt

2 eggs, beaten

2 tsp. baking powder

3 tbsp. butter

Enough milk to make moist mixture (about ½ cup)