Canederli soup is bringing me back to Bolzano.

I have always loved this beautiful town in the most northern part of Italy, Bolzano, located in the Alto Adige region.

canederli soup

The city is located and surrounded by the Dolomites Mountains.

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The panoramic views are just breathtaking. Growing up, we were very fortunate to have an aunt that lived there.

Her apartment was facing Piazza Della Vittoria, and from almost every room, we had a beautiful view of the mountains.

I have fond memories of the food in this region as well. Canederli soup is part of those fond memories. A mix of bread and speck.

A straightforward and super delicious recipe.

In this Article

What is Speck?

In parts of the English-speaking world, Italy, and Turkey, speck refers to South Tyrolean speck, smoked prosciutto, rather than a German speck.

Like bacon, prosciutto, or pancetta, however, with a distinct flavor and is prepared differently.

Often served as an appetizer on a charcuterie board and cooked in dishes.

The smoky flavor holds well in cooking; however, it does not contain the same amount of fat as bacon.

Bolzano dates back to the Middle Ages.

It became part of Bavaria and was united with Austria in 1809. It belonged to the Austrian Empire until Italy acquired it at the end of World War I in 1918. During World War II Bolzano was heavily bombarded. 

After the war, the city was restored to its influential Austrian structure.

Bolzano, or Bozen to this day, is still a dual-speaking town, Italian and German.

The city is divided by the Talvera River. The low bridge that divides the Old City Center from the New City Center. 

Beautiful cast iron railing on each side of the road. Once crossed, towards the older part of the city, cars are sent to the surrounding streets, leaving the city center free of any noise or cars. 

Pedestrians on the streets; shops own the “Portici”. Fabulous shopping. Fantastic small restaurants and pastry shops.

The Dolomites Mountains are so accessible and enjoyable during the winter with all sorts of winter sports, as well as during the warm summer months. 

Therefore, we used to take a short car ride to the gondolas, and 15 minutes later, we were at the top of this stunning mountain looking down at the town.

The air was just clean, the rolling hills inviting us children to stay away from them.

We always enjoyed the beautiful promenades, and after what seemed hours, we would stop at this excellent barn-like restaurant and enjoy this wonderful dish of “Speck.”

Tyrolean salt-cured ham, fresh bread, strudel, a chilled glass of white wine for the adults, and warm apple cider for us children.

Desserts were sinful. A simple apple strudel, fresh whipped cream cups, or a delightful chocolate cake dessert is just part of the day.


A variant to this recipe

Make smaller canederli, cook them in salted water, and season with melted butter and lots of parmesan cheese. Or, use tomato sauce instead.

Tips and step-by-step instructions

  • Speck is a smoked ham available in Italian and German specialty stores. If you never tried it, you are in for a treat. If none is available, the smoked thick ham will do.
  • Use day-old bread or stale bread. The best result is with any Italian loaves of bread or baguette. Do not use pre-sliced bread such as buttermilk, potato, or 12 grains that are sold on the shelf. It’s not the same flavor and in some cases, a bit on the sweet side. Trust me, I tried that and did not the same results.
  • You can replace the onion with scallions or shallots if you have them on hand.
  • Use a good thick pancetta.
  • Let the bread mixture rest between 30 to 60 minutes. This will allow all the flavors to bind together well.
  • You can use chicken, beef, or vegetable stocks.
  • Place some flour in the palm of your hands to roll the balls of canederli. It prevents it from sticking.
  • You can prepare the canederli the day before and store them in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature when starting dinner.
  • Sprinkle lots of parmesan cheese, an optional step. However, you will enjoy the flavor that it brings out.

If you enjoy this recipe, check out these flavorful dishes:

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Tomato Soup

Vegetables Chicken Soup with Pasta

Canederli Soup

5 from 12 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
A mix of bread and speck. A very easy and super delicious recipe.


  • 10 ounces bread, day-old bread, preferably Italian
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces Speck ham, diced Speck ham or regular ham
  • 4 ounces pancetta
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ½ yellow onion, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • salt and pepper , to taste
  • 4 cup chicken stock
  • parmesan cheese, graeted (optional)
  • cup flour


  • Cut the bread in small cubes and place in a bowl.
  • In a small frying pan sauté the onion with the butter. Add the speak and pancetta and sauté for a couple of minutes. When done place with the bread.
  • In a small bowl mix the eggs with the milk, add the parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Add the mixture to the bread onion mix. Let it rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour to flavor thoroughly.
  • Add the flour to the mixture, mix well, and then prepare balls. Add some flour to your hands and roll in the cavity of your hands. If the bread mix is too soft add more flour, if too hard add a bit more milk.
  • Form small balls, 2 inches diameter, in the cavity of your hand and roll them lightly in the flour to barely cover.
  • Bring stock to a boil and then add the canederli. When they float to the surface, boil for another 10 minutes, then drain with a slotted spoon.
    Place 2-3 canederli in each serving bowl, and top with chicken stock.


Calories: 571kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 172mg | Sodium: 1068mg | Potassium: 623mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 559IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 201mg | Iron: 4mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

Did you make this?

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