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German Butterball Soup

Re: Lost and Looking for German Butterball Soup
From: Rachelle
Date: 11/6/2021, 9:52 AM

On 11/5/2021 10:45 PM, Rachelle wrote:

Hello There!

I am wanting to give my mother a special Christmas gift this year and thought 
the finding of my great great grandmother's "German Butterball Soup" would be 
quite special as it has been lost for many years and no one has been able to 
track down! Now, granted it wont be my exact grandmothers, but hoping you can 
find something similar or your readers will know where to direct me 
It is essentially a rich clear/ brown broth (almost reminded me of some rich 
pho broths that have a slight nutmeg or cinnamon flavor to it) with "butterballs" 
biscuits/dumplings in it. 

Let me know your thoughts!


Hi Rachelle,

Well, your request is a bit complicated.

You see, there are big forks in the road that appear when searching for "butter ball" recipes.

The first one is that, in German-associated cooking, there are two kinds of "butter balls".

One is a small round potato - a "butterball potato". It's sort of like a "new potato", and it is used for making soup. It is associated with Germans recently from Germany itself.

The second kind is associated with "Volga Germans" or "Germans from Russia". In 1763, Catherine the Great of Russia issued an invitation for Europeans to came and live in Russia, and over the next decade, many did so, including several thousand German families who took the offer and settled on the Volga River, hence the name "Volga-Germans". These people, perhaps influenced by contact with another culture, have a different kind of "butterball". It's not a potato. It's like a round dumpling made with breadcrumbs, something like a Jewish "matzo ball". These "butterballs" are added to broths or soups, often to chicken noodle soup, not necessarily just chicken broth. The type of broth they're added to varies, so there is not just one recipe for "butterball soup." It may vary from family to family.

I found a lot of recipes and references to "butterballs" and "butterball soup". With so little information, I cannot say which, if any, might be similar to your great-great-grandmother's soup. I found that recipes for the "butterballs" themselves were similar, so one of the recipes that I found should be close, but when it comes to the broth, I cannot help you. It will be up to you and your relatives to decide what kind of broth it was and to find a similar recipe. These links should help, and you can find more by going to Google and searching on "butterball soup" and "butter ball soup". See:

Butterball Potatoes:

German Butterball Potatoes 1

German Butterball Potatoes 2

Volga-German Butterball Soup:

Butterballs for Soup

Butterballs Soup

German Butterball Soup


Grandma Anna's German Butterball Soup

Butterball Soup


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