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Butter Balls Chicken Soup

The butter balls, very tiny dumplings, are called rivels in the West and dropsley in Ontario.

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  • 3 pounds chicken
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups hot water
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Cut chicken into portions. Place in a saucepan with celery leaves, bay leaf, peppercorns, the one teaspoon salt and the water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat for about one hour, or until chicken is tender. Strain, then return broth to saucepan.
  2. Cut chicken into small pieces, add to broth with celery and parsley, then simmer.
  3. To make the butter balls, cream butter, add eggs and beat. Gradually add flour and the 1/4 teaspoon salt. Beat hard until it is like a very soft batter. Drop by 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoonsful into broth; cover and let stand for 5 minutes over low heat.