For centuries, people have been attributing magical capabilities to the elder plant. Be it as a tree of life or a weapon against black magic and witchcraft. It is not far to seek that this deep red liquid must be something like a love potion. Unfortunately, after this build-up we have to admit that it is just a mere sweet dessert – but an extremely delicious one indeed! And making it for somebody might as well make them fall in love with you. Holundersuppe – meaning elderberry soup – is a regional specialty in northern and eastern Germany. It is especially common in the states of Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Sachsen and even across the border in Denmark.

Let Holundersuppe Inject Some Color Into The Grey Season

The deep red fruit soup is made from the berries of the black elder. It traditionally comes with small semolina or flour dumplings. Sour cream and chives can add a special touch to the sweet, fruity flavor. While this may sound a bit strange at first, you will be surprised how well they complement the sweet dish.


Holundersuppe is traditionally common in fall and winter when the elderberries are ripe. Thus, as a typical dessert for the cold months of the year, the soup is best eaten hot. But since you may simply use elderberry juice instead of the fresh fruits, you can enjoy the sweet soup all year round.

As winter is coming, Holundersuppe is just what you need to satisfy your sweet tooth and warm you from the inside at the same time. Check out our simple recipe below for the delicious soup and the accompanying dumplings. And for the vegan option, you can simply leave out the semolina dumplings or replace the unwanted ingredients with soy milk and chick pea flour – it’s just as delicious!


Holundersuppe mit Grießklößchen

Holundersuppe mit Grießklößchen, traditional German elderberry soup with semolina dumplings


    For the soup:
  • 400 g elderberries
  • 1 l water
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 30 g starch
  • 75 g sugar
  • 3-4 cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Chives
  • Sour cream
    For the dumplings:
  • 125 ml milk
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 50 gr semolina
  • 1 egg


  1. Wash the elderberries and pluck them from the little twigs. Make sure to throw out unripe berries!
  2. Now, mash the berries with a fork
  3. Boil the berries and released juice in a pot together with the water, some lemon peel and the cloves
  4. Sieve the mix and contain the seasoned juice in a pot
  5. Blend the starch with some cold water, add it to the juice and heat up together
  6. Add sugar and lemon juice and season the soup with a bit of cinnamon according to taste
  7. For the dumplings, boil the milk, butter, salt and one tea spoon of sugar in a pot.
  8. Add the semolina while stirring until a firm mass evolves that doesn’t stick to the pot anymore
  9. Remove the pot from the heat and quickly blend in the egg
  10. Now, heat up another pot with a good amount of salted water
  11. Form little dumplings from the semolina mass using two tea spoons
  12. Carefully drop them into the boiling water and let them cook for about 10 minutes
  13. Finally, place the dumplings in the bowl of elderberry soup
  14. Add a spoon of sour cream, besprinkle with some finely cut chives and serve while still hot

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Find more food and drinks from Germany here.

Go to other interesting articles on Germany: Events, Traditional Costumes, Customs & Traditions

Cover Photo by SunnySideCircus

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