Amish Soup

PA Dutch Soups, Chowders, and Stews

Amish Soup RecipesAmish soups warm the body and soul.  From vegetable soup to chicken noodle, bean soup to corn chowder, Amish-style soups are simple, hearty, and easy to make.  Try these Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish soup recipes for a delicious and hearty treat.

Amish Soup Recipes

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  • 2 ham hocks or large ham bone
  • 2 large minced onions
  • 1 lb. dry split peas
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper

Simmer meat in 2 quarts water for 30 minutes. Add split peas and slowly cook for 1 1/2 hours. Cut meat into small pieces (remove and toss bone and gristle), and return meat to soup. Add salt and pepper to taste, and more water if necessary. (adapted from Plain and Happy Living: Amish Recipes and Remedies by Emma Byler)



  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 pint chili or kidney beans
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pint chili sauce
  • 1 ½ quarts tomato juice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • Clear jel (optional)

In a pan, brown the chopped onion and ground beef. Add salt and pepper to taste. In a Dutch oven (4-quart), heat beans, tomato juice, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar. Combine sauce with the ground beef. Simmer for 1-2 hours. Thicken with Clear jel (optional). (adapted from Cooking & Such, Winter 2011-2012)



  • 1 lb. soup beans
  • 1 ham bone
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup diced potatoes
  • 2 tsp. minced parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • hard-boiled eggs (optional)

Soak beans in water overnight. Drain, add fresh water and cook slowly with the ham bone for 2 hours. Put in the onion, celery, potatoes, tomato sauce, parsley and the salt and pepper and simmer until vegetables are soft. Remove the ham bone, trim off any meat, cut it up and add to soup. You may also cut up hard boiled eggs and add them to the soup.



  • 25 clams
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 pound salt pork (finely chopped)
  • 6 diced potatoes
  • 4 sliced onions
  • 8 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Scrub clam shells well to remove all sand. Place clams in the bottom of a large kettle.  Cover with the boiling water. Cover the kettle.  Allow clams to steam for about 15 minutes. Add the potatoes, onions and clam liquor (liquid extracted during cooking), and cook for about 15 minutes. Add the clams and boil for 20 minutes. Melt the butter, add the flour and blend.  Stir in the milk.  Cook for about 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper to taste. Combine both mixtures and your clam chowder is ready to serve. (adapted from Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book of Fine Old Recipes)



  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 tblsp. onion, minced
  • 1 tblsp. celery, minced
  • 1 tblsp. pepper, minced
  • 2 cups corn
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 3 tomatoes, cut-up
  • 2 pints milk
  • salt
  • pepper

Dice the bacon and put into pan to brown, add onion, celery and pepper; fry until bacon is crisp. Add the corn and saute together for 3 minutes. Add the potatoes, tomatoes and seasoning, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Finally add the milk, heat to the boiling point and serve with a little chopped parsley.



“Rivvel” is a word which refers to the lumps found in some PA Dutch and Amish soups, such as the following.  Enjoy the Poor Man’s Rivvel soup, The Rich Man’s version (adding chicken broth and corn), or the Corn soup with Rivvels (below).

  • 1 qt. milk
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 well-beaten egg

This recipe serves four. Add butter and pepper to the milk in a two-quart saucepan.  Bring to a boil. Mix together flour, egg, and salt. Using your hands, rub the flour, salt and egg together until it forms into small lumps. Sprinkle lumps into the boiling milk. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste. (adapted from Plain and Happy Living: Amish Recipes and Remedies by Emma Byler)



4 cups chicken broth
2 cups corn (canned or fresh)
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp.salt
1 egg, well beaten

This recipe serves six.  Bring broth to a boil. Use the instructions in the recipe above to make the rivvels (lumps).  Again, sprinkle the lumps into the broth. Add either canned or fresh corn. Simmer for 15 minutes. (adapted from Plain and Happy Living: Amish Recipes and Remedies by Emma Byler)



  • 3 cups fresh or canned corn
  • 2 qts. water
  • 1 cup rich milk
  • 1⅓ cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tblsp. butter
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • parsley

Cook corn in water for 10 minutes. Make a batter by mixing egg, flour and milk together. Pour this batter through a colander, letting it drop into the boiling corn. Add butter and salt. Cook slowly in a covered pan for 3 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley. Best when eaten immediately after rivels are cooked.



  • 4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • ¼ small onion, diced
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 cups chicken broth or water
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. sugar, scant

In a stockpot combine the tomatoes, onion, cloves, and chicken broth, and heat (medium heat). Allow to boil for about 20 minutes. Remove from stovetop and strain. Use the same pot to melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook until medium brown. Gradually whisk in a bit of tomato mixture (to prevent lumps from forming).  Stir in the rest. Use sugar, salt and pepper to season to personal preference. (adapted from Cooking & Such, Winter 2011-2012)



  • 4 cups diced potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 tblsp. flour
  • 1 tblsp. butter
  • 1 qt. milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • salt and pepper
  • parsley

Boil potatoes and onion in a small amount of water until soft. Add milk, salt and pepper then reheat. Brown flour in the butter and blend it slowly into the potato mixture. Add a little water to the beaten egg and stir into the soup. Let it cook for a few minutes.  Serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley.



  • 1 soup bone
  • 2 lbs. stewing beef
  • 2 quarts water
  • salt
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • pepper

Cook meat until tender and remove from the broth. Add water until you have 2 quarts of broth. Make dumplings by mixing beaten egg and milk into flour until about the consistency of pancake batter. Drop from teaspoon into the boiling broth to form small dumplings. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes.



  • 1 quart canned beef chunks
  • potatoes
  • carrots
  • celery
  • cabbage
  • onions (or other optional vegetables)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • beef bouillon cubes

Place canned beef into a 4 or 6 quart kettle.  The vegetable ingredients are up to you–add in your choice of any of the above listed vegetables (or others). You want to fill the kettle to ¾ capacity. Cover with water.  Next add seasonings of your choice from those listed.  Bring stew to a full boil.  Next, reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, (though don’t let them get mushy). It’s possible to use fresh beef chunks, however they must be sautéed before vegetables are added. (adapted from Cooking & Such magazine, Winter 2011-2012)



  • 1 soup bone
  • 2 lbs. stewing beef
  • 2 qts. water
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • black pepper

Into 2 qts. of water put soup bone and beef and boil for 2 hours. For a hearty, substantial soup, cut up the meat in small pieces and return to the broth. Add tomatoes, onions and celery. Also add other available vegetables, such as diced potatoes, carrots, turnip, string beans, corn, peas, cabbage or chopped peppers. Boil until all vegetables are tender.



Salsify, used in this recipe, is a root vegetable in the sunflower family, also known as “goatsbeard”.  Salsify has an oyster-like taste and is also called “vegetable oyster” or “oyster plant”.

  • 1½ cups diced salsify
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 tblsp. vinegar
  • 1 tblsp. butter
  • 1 quart milk
  • salt and pepper

Scrub, scrape and clean salsify. Dice and cook in salted water, with 1 tablespoon of vinegar added, until tender. Drain, add butter and rich milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and serve with crackers.



  • 4 lb. chicken
  • 2½ qts. water
  • 2½ tsp. salt
  • 3 cups cooked noodles

Cut a young stewing chicken into serving pieces, bring to a boil and simmer for 2½ hours, adding water as needed. Skim off the fat and add:

  • 1 tsp. peppercorns
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tblsp. parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper

Bring to boil again and add noodles, preferably home made noodles. Cook for 20 more minutes and ready to serve.



  • 1 stewing hen, about 4-lbs.
  • 4 qts. water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 10 ears corn
  • ½ cup celery, chopped with leaves
  • 2 chopped hard-boiled eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • rivels

Put cut-up chicken and onion into the water and cook slowly until tender, add salt. Remove chicken, cut the meat into small (1-inch) pieces and return to broth, together with corn, which has been cut from the cob, celery and seasoning. Continue to simmer. Make rivels by combining 1 cup flour, a pinch of salt, 1 egg and a little milk. Mix well with fork or fingers to form small crumbs. Drop these into the soup, also the chopped, hard-boiled eggs. Boil for 15 minutes more and your chicken soup is ready.



  • 1 lb. split peas
  • 3 qts. water
  • 1 ham bone
  • salt
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • pepper
  • croutons (toasted)

Wash peas, add cold water, vegetables and ham bone and simmer for three hours or until mixture is thick. Remove ham bone, force peas through coarse sieve and season to taste. Dilute with milk. Serve with toasted croutons.



Milk-based Pretzel Soup seems to be stretching the meaning of the word “soup”, as you’ll see by this very simple, but tasty, recipe below.

Heat a bowl of milk for each person to be served. To each bowl of milk add a small piece of butter and serve. At the table each person should break up enough large soft or soda pretzels to fill the bowl. Butter thin pretzels may also be used. (adapted from Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book of Fine Old Recipes)



  • 1 lb. honeycomb tripe
  • 1 veal knuckle
  • 1½ qts. water
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tblsp. red pepper, diced
  • 1 tblsp. green pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon powdered thyme
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 4 potatoes, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled, cut up
  • 4 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 piece pimento, cut fine

Wash and scrub tripe thoroughly. Place in large kettle and cover with plenty of cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender. Simmer without boiling, that is the secret of making tripe tender. Drain and dice, ½ inch squares. In the meantime place the veal knuckle in another kettle adding 1½ qts. of water and all ingredients except the potatoes.

Simmer at least one hour, put in potatoes and simmer for another hour or until meat falls off the bone. Remove bone and take off all the meat. Cut it into small pieces and together with the tripe put it back into the soup. Bring to a boil and the soup is ready to serve. This soup keeps well and can be reheated.



Rub the yolks of three or four hard boiled eggs to a smooth paste and salt. To these add two raw ones lightly beaten. Add enough flour to hold the paste together. Make into balls with floured hands and set in cool place until just before your soup comes off. Put the balls carefully into the soup and boil one minute.

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Chicken and dumplings photo credit: pwbaker/flickr
Unless otherwise noted, recipes adapted from Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking.

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    1. Sheila Elliott

      Canning soup

      I’m new to canning and would love to stock my pantry (and my college student’s pantry) with some homemade soups. Can I can all Amish soups via a pressure cooker? Could you also direct me to an Amish cookbook on soup canning? For safety reasons (primarily for a beginner) I want to make sure all of my cans are safe.

      Many Thanks,

      Sheila Elliott

    2. Chris Nealy


      The best book on canning I have found is one put out by Ball which is the company that makes the jars. Check your local library or online.