Beet Soup with Horseradish Dumplings, Cooking School in Heidelberg Germany


Beetroot coup

Cooking School in Germany. Traveling to Europe has always been a dream of mine and throw in a professional cooking school and it’s time to pinch myself to see if it’s all real. I’m recently home from a trip to Germany and France led by my friends, Kirsten from My Kitchen in the Rockies and Michele, Cooking with Michele. Ten days of touring, wine, shopping, cooking schools and lots of sausage. Does it get any better than that? I have to say, the Palatinate region of Germany with its food, architecture and landscape is something I fell in love with.

Our first stop took us to Heidelberg and cooking school, where Chef Thomas Dippel spent the afternoon with us at his cooking school  Cookst Du. Each of us was assigned a different station where we made a wonderful smoked trout on creamed potatoes with caper aioli appetizer, beet soup with horseradish dumplings, roast beef braised with fresh rosemary and thyme, broccoli with almonds, and apple fritter with vanilla sauce.

The beet root soup with cream and horseradish dumplings was so memorable, I wanted to make this at home as soon as possible. Diced beets simply sauteed with onion in butter and olive oil, thickened with flour, and tart with a good white wine and lemon juice made for a special treat. Add some cream and the easy to make horseradish dumplings and you’ve got a great first course starter or an impressive light meal. Chef Dippel topped the soup with a leaf of chervil, I used the last of the chives from my garden before Winter takes them. The original recipe served the twelve of us in attendance at the school. I’ve scaled it down to serve 2-4.

Before we get to the recipe, let’s take a little tour of the school.

Germany cooking school

The large photo is of the main room as you walk in the front door. Our table is set and the kitchen area where we’ll have class and prep our food sits directly behind the table. Top right, the menu we are about to prepare is written on the large chalkboard doors. The next photo is of a chandelier that I fancied, made from wine bottles.  The bottom photo is of our kitchen prep area.

Making dumplings

The students. I was charged with making the horseradish meatballs. Top right is Michelle and Kathy stirring up mashed potatoes for the trout appetizer, and Kristin is preparing the vanilla sauce for the apple fritter dessert. Behind Kirsten and through the windows is the courtyard where there’s fig and olive trees, herb gardens and two pet rabbits.

Olive Butter and bread basket

While we were cooking they sat out a basket of bread with soft creamy butter that had simply been flavored with fine chopped olives. A great idea that you’ll find in our house soon.

spatzel demonstration

Chef Dippel gave us a demonstration in the art of making spatzel. At first it seems innocent enough as he simply added eggs to a big bowl of flour. But then things got physical. With a lot of muscle power, he beat the tar out of that dough for what seemed like a more than ample amount of time. He then took some of the dough in his hand and let gravity demonstrate the result of his efforts. It looked fine to me, but Chef Dippel returned the mixture to bowl and continued to slap and shape that dough until it was perfect.  I’d say the whole thing was a good fifteen minute workout. With a boiling pot of water standing by, he transferred the dough in small batches to a cutting board, flattened it out on end near the water, drenched the dough with hot water, and then with a knife sliced small sections into the boiling pot. At this stage, we were trusted to participate. The whole process made my dumpling project seem like child’s play. I don’t think I’d attempt this at home.

Heidelberg Cooking School

The food we prepared and plated. The beet root soup, the incredible smoked trout appetizer and the main course beef, spaetzel and broccoli.

toast with white wine

Enjoying our accomplishments, we toasted to hard work, precision teamwork and new friends.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Beet Soup with Horseradish Dumplings
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: German
Serves: 4
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium beets, peeled and chopped
  • 1 T. unsalted butter
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 heaping tablespoon flour
  • ½ C. white wine
  • 2 C. chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of ½ lemon to season
  • 4 T. heavy cream
  1. Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan. Add the onions and sweat them for 3 minutes. Add the chopped beets and sweet for another 3 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and the beats and cook for two minutes, stirring. Add the white wine and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the chicken broth and simmer until beets are soft. About 30 minutes. Blend the soup with an immersion hand blender.
  2. To serve, ladle soup into bowls, add a swirl of heavy cream to each bowl and drop in hot cooked Horseradish dumplings.

Recipe For Horseradish Dumplings:
5.0 from 1 reviews
Horseradish Dumplings
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: German
Serves: 4
  • ⅔ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup semolina durum flour
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  1. Bring the water, butter and salt to boil over a moderate heat. Add the semolina, and stir until the semolina is well mixed starts to come away from the sides of the saucepan. This will take only about 15 - 30 seconds.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and with a wooden spoon stir in the egg, horseradish and chives and stir firmly until the mixture is smooth. When cool enough, form into small balls.
  3. Bring a pot of salted water to a simmer. Drop the balls of dumplings into the water and cook until they float. About 4 - 5 minutes.

Beet Soup with Horseradish Dumplings…It’s What’s For Abendessen.

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  1. says

    You are so lucky to get to go to Europe with friends – and cooking school, too! I’m very jealous but love getting a glimpse of what it was like. The soup looks delicious and I’m dying to make it. I’m also loving the olive butter. Yum!

  2. says

    Your trip sounds divine! What a wonderful way to enjoy traveling and friends along with food too. So glad you enjoyed yourself and I look forward to hearing more about your trip!

  3. says

    Fabulous! and my father loves borscht and though this isn’t borscht I am going to tuck this away and make it for him the next time i see them! Thanks for that. Then again, I might make it sooner for me! What a great trip!

  4. says

    What a fun time! I get awfully jealous when I see trips to Europe, I miss home. I never had a chance to get to Germany but I plan to very soon!! I have started learning German in the event that I get there soon :) (there’s no chance quite yet, but one can dream)
    The beet root soup looks wonderful, I adore the colour! And horseradish dumplings…yummy!
    I am glad you had a great time there, so much fun with friends.


  5. says

    Yummy soup…have to make this one a regular on the menu! Thanks again for sharing your photos -wasn’t cooking school fun and delicious?!!


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