Hamburg Eel Soup Recipe

Serves/Makes: 6


  • 1 pound (1/2 kg) fresh eel, skinned, cleaned and across into section about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick
  • 3 pounds fresh vegetables (peas, carrots, leek, celery, cauliflower, string beans, kohlrabi - the more kinds the better)
  • 1/2 pound (1/4 kg) dried fruit (prunes, apricots, apple rings), previously soaked in water
  • Sugar and/or salt to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Summer savory
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • Vinegar

  • Small flour dumplings, made from a dough of:
  • 1/2 pound (1/4 kg) flour
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons marrow fat, suet or butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 pint (150 ml) water
How to cook Hamburg Eel Soup:
  • Set the ham-bone to simmer in plenty of water.
  • After 20 minutes remove any scum and add the vegetables, prepared as usual and cut up. Put in last those which require least cooking.
  • Add the fruit and continue to simmer until the vegetables are cooked.
  • Meanwhile, poach the pieces of eel separately in water flavored with a couple of bay leaves, a bouquet garni, summer savory, and a little vinegar.
  • Remove the ham-bone from the vegetable broth.
  • Take the scraps of meat off it, chop them and add to the soup.
  • Add the small dumplings (poached for 5 minutes) and the pieces of cooked eel.
  • Correct the seasoning with a little sugar or salt, if necessary.
  • Simmer for a few minutes, to let the flavors blend, then serve.


The German name of this recipe is Hamburger Aalsuppe.
North Germans like sweet and sour. They have excellent pork products, and in the early Sumner a fine array of fresh vegetables comes into season. So it has been their practice for centuries to make, especially at this time of year, what they call Saure Suppe, which is a sort of sweet and sour soup. It is made from a smoked ham-bone with scrape of ham still on it, fresh vegetables, dried fruit (to provide a sweet counterpart to the salty ham), and dumplings to give the soup body.
Hamburg eel soup is achieved quite simply by adding pieces of eel, which have been cooked separately to this Saure Suppe. It is a relatively recent development.

This recipe for Hamburg Eel Soup serves/makes: 6

The Hamburg Eel Soup Recipe adopted from the book North Atlantic Seafood.

Main Ingredient: Eel (more Eel recipes)
Preparation Method: Soup/Stew (more Soup/Stew recipes)
Cuisine: German (more German recipes)

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