Pinnekjøtt Soup with Herbed dumplings

It is that time of the year when just about every household on the West Coast of Norway smells of pinnekjøtt.

One of my favourite comfort foods over the winter periods in Norway is Pinnekjøtt soup, made from leftover pinnekjøtt from our Christmas dinner.  It is honestly one of the easiest soups to make and adding herbed dumplings on top just adds that little extra to a very simple and tasty dish.

The family and friends will be loving this one!!

You’ll need

  • For the soup :
  • 1 - 2 cups cooked pinnekjøtt (bones removed and any big pieces of fat)
  • 2 cups pinnekjøtt sauce (water left from the steaming process)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 Tbs pinnekjøtt fat (the fatty layer that settles on top of the water after it has cooled)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 sticks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large leek, white parts only. Slices in half and thinly sliced
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (410g)
  • 2 cups beans (precooked beans such as chickpeas, kidney beans or anything you have in your cupboard)
  • 2 Tbs red wine vinegar or to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • -----
  • For the dumplings :
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 Tbs chopped herbs like thyme, rosemary or parsley (Optional)


  1. Start by melting the pinnekjøtt fat in a large heavy based pot.
  2. Add the onion, leek, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook until just softened.
  3. Add the pinnekjøtt water, chicken stock and can of crushed tomatoes. Bring to the boil.
  4. Turn the temperature down to moderate/low and add the pinnekjøtt. Stir and place the lid on.
  5. Cook on a low heat for about 1 hour.
  6. Season by adding 2 Tbs of red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. You might need to play a bit with the flavours here, not all pinnekjøtt are the same, so the seasoning will be different each time.
  7. Add 2 cups of beans to the soup and stir. (I used 1 cup chickpeas and 1 cup kidney beans.)
  8. For the dumplings, mix together in a medium sized bowl the flour, salt and baking powder.
  9. Add your choice of herbs. (If using)
  10. Mix 125ml warm water and 1 Tbs vegetable oil together and pour into the flour mix.
  11. Stir until incorporated. Add more flour or water to get a mixture that is soft and not too dry.
  12. Bring the soup to the boil again and start scooping tablespoons of dumpling onto the surface.
  13. Reduce the heat again, put the lid on and cook for 5 minutes.
  14. Spoon into soup bowls and scatter with chopped parsley.
  15. Bon Apetit!!!

Tips : I usually pick the leftover pinnekjøtt from the bones the next day and freeze it. I do the same with whatever water and fat was left from the steaming process.

If you do not have enough pinnekjøtt sauce left, simply increase the amount of chicken stock.

The dumpling recipe can be doubled easily and will give you at least 20 tablespoon portions.

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