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November 11, 2007

Comfort Food Sunday

Filed under: food — Kathy @ 11:56 am
Tags: , ,

The sky was gray and drizzling all day. To warm us all up I made chicken soup from scratch, and that means dumplings too around here. We love this dish so much, but I have never met anyone outside my family who makes soup dumplings, which are kind of a cross between a biscuit and a noodle. I got this recipe from my mother, who got it from my Dad’s mother. So this is how to make chicken soup from scratch, and the dumplings that are a family favorite at our house.

Start with a big soup pot.

Clean a whole chicken and wrap it up in cheesecloth tied with a knot. Cover the chicken with cold water in the pot and bring to a boil with lid on. Reduce temperature and simmer until tender, or about 1 hour. While the chicken is cooking peel and cut up the vegetables you want in your soup. I use about 4 potatoes, 6 carrots, 1 large sweet onion, and 5 stalks celery, all cut into bite size pieces. When the chicken is done, transfer it to a bowl to cool a little by grabbing the knot of cheesecloth with tongs. Put all the vegetables into the broth remaining in the soup pot and simmer until tender. While the veggies are simmering, debone the chicken and return the meat to the soup. Season the soup with a little poultry seasoning and salt to taste.

These are the ingredients for soup dumplings.

Soup Dumplings

1 Cup milk ( I use 1%)

1/2 Cup butter (1 cube)

1/2 Cup flour (may need an extra teaspoon more or less)

1 scant teaspoon salt

2 medium eggs

In a medium saucepan bring the milk and butter to a boil. Use a medium heat and stir a lot so it doesn’t scorch. When it boils add the flour and salt all at once. Stir and cook until it forms a ball in the pan. Remove from the heat. Break the eggs into the mixture one at a time, stirring well after each one. Drop the dumpling mixture into the soup in spoonfuls. Cook in the soup just below the boiling point for 20 minutes.

My notes on the dumplings: My mom’s recipe used margarine, but I prefer butter. I often find that the flour measurement seems to be a little short, so I add a teaspoon to the half cup of flour. A silicone spatula works great to stir the dough and kind of moosh out the lumps while it reduces and eventually forms a ball. If I only have large eggs, then 1 1/2 eggs is enough. I like the consistency of the dumpling batter to hold together as I drop it into the soup and not drip all over the place, and it is the eggs that determine this. I use a teaspoon to drop the dumpling into the soup, swiping the dough into the broth with my index finger. This makes a nice round dumpling on top with a kind of concave shape on bottom. Watch the soup like a hawk and absolutely do not let it boil once the dumplings are in it. This will insure your dumplings are tender, not tough. I always double the recipe, but still mix each egg in separately. You can use these dumplings with any kind of soup that you might put a noodle in, like a beef broth soup or a minestrone.

This is how our soup and dumplings turned out tonight. A big pot of this stuff heats up deliciously the next day too. We love the bread from Crumb Brothers with our soup, and then we are all warmed up on a cold evening.

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4 Comments »

  1. […] November 12th 2007, 2:05 am Filed under: Uncategorized Tonight my mom make chicken and dumpling soup for dinner.  This is one of my favorite dishes of hers.  The dumplings are the best part.  […]

    Pingback by Fairchild’s Sleeping Army — November 12, 2007 @ 3:05 am | Reply

  2. i am so sad i missed this.

    Comment by jo — November 12, 2007 @ 4:59 am | Reply

  3. Oh, Kathy. That looks So. Good.

    If you are a crumb brothers fan, you absolutely must stop at rockhill dairy on your way home to enjoy their artisan cheese with your bread. It will change your life. (Change it to driving to Richmond every other day, that is.)

    http://www.rockhillcheese.com/

    Comment by Stacie — November 12, 2007 @ 10:17 am | Reply

  4. That does look good. The recipe sounds a bit like making cream puffs. I love dumplings and I’m thinking of making some after Thanksgiving to use up the left-over broth. Something new to do with T-day leftovers.

    Comment by adamswife — November 16, 2007 @ 2:00 pm | Reply


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