Chicken and dumplings soup is a popular meal in the South. The recipes that I have seen typically use homemade pasta shaped into a square. I think it’s more interesting to play with the dough and create more of a dumpling, although there is nothing inside. Then, you just drop them into the pot of boiling broth and you have a fresh and delicious bite that also looks pretty! Here is the recipe. This one really plays off of my Chicken Noodle Stewp Recipe, with a few twists.
Always use fresh chicken. You can bake it yourself with the skin on in the oven (follow my Rosemary Roasted Chicken Recipe) OR you can cheat if you are busy and buy a small Rotesserie chicken.( I won’t tell! ) Once the chicken is fully cooked and juices run clear, dice all the white (and dark) meat and set it aside. You can toss the skin or let the kids eat it. My kids LOVE the skin, just like me when I was a kid.
Start by heating some extra virgin olive oil in a large pot (be sure to taste it first by dunking some bread in it, if it tastes good and has no after taste, you can use if for this recipe!). Wash about two-three carrots, and peel them. Then dice them into tiny chunks and add them to the pot until they are tender. In the meantime, wash about three celery stalks and peel those. Then, thinly slice these into tiny pieces or slivers. Cut up one medium white onion and dice into tiny pieces. Wash about three stalks of green onion (scallions), disregard the green stems and dice into tiny pieces. Then, add the celery and onions to the pot and let them get tender. Let all the flavors blend together. Add sea salt as you go along, and more olive oil as you add the celery and onions to the pot. You don’t want them to burn or stick just to become tender, don’t let it brown either. It will alter the taste of the soup.
The key to a good soup is good olive oil AND good chicken stock. They can make or break your soup. I prefer to use the store bought kind, and prefer Swanson’s. It’s much easier and there is no waste. Once the vegetables are tender add about one and half containers of chicken stock. You may need to add more depending upon how much liquid is absorbed by the pasta, so set it aside. If you don’t use it right away, the next day you will likely need to add a little more because the pasta will absorb the liquid overnight. You can add in your chicken and let this simmer for about one hour. You can add a few sprinkles of turmeric to give the soup a deep rich color and a nice flavor. A little goes a long way though! Pepper can be added, but sometimes I skip it because it’s spicy and you don’t really need it. Let this simmer on low heat.
Then get out some white flour, and a cup of warm water. Add about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of flour to a warm bowl and add in the water, about 1/2 cup, mix it with the spoon until the dough forms. Follow my Pasta making 101 Recipe for the perfect dough. Then let the dough rest. After about 20 minutes, roll it out onto a clean floured surface like a wood board or a pastry board. Roll it out using a rolling pin until the pasta is about 1/4 inch thick or even thinner. Cut it into tiny squares using a pastry cutter or pizza cutter. Then set them onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and flour. Be sure the squares do not touch each ther they will all stick together, and you’ll have to start over.
Making the dumplings: It’s sooooooooo easy! I promise.
Here is a picture so you have a visual to work from.
Take one corner and fold it into the center, then take the opposite corner and have both corners overlap. Do the same with the other corners, so you form a pocket. Press the center lightly with your finger and add a little water to your finger so it seals. They will look like this. They don’t have to be perfect. Just have fun with it!!! Then, after the soup has simmered roughly one hour, bring it to a boil and drop the dumplings in. Stir gently with a spoon to be sure they don’t stick together, and let them cook about 6 minutes on a medium boil. The dumplings are done when they float to the top. Then lower the heat and let it cook about 10 more minutes, but taste it to be sure your flavors are balanced and the veggies are tender. Add a few tablespoons of flour so the broth thickens. The dumplings will open slightly, but they should still look like a dumpling. They will puff up too.
You are ready to serve the soup. For a little added crunch and texture you can add some chopped scallions to each bowl. This is so nourishing and delicious. The dumplings are a nice added twist for a soup. It will become a family favorite. Enjoy!