I just posted my chicken stock recipe and I wanted to share this Chicken and Dumplings Soup I made with the homemade stock. This soup turned out to be rich and creamy yet not heavy. The dumplings were just like light, soft pillows and we all loved it. This is absolutely going into our regular meal rotation.
This soup begins like many soups, with carrots, onions and celery (mirepoix). I saute them in a little butter and seasoned with kosher salt and freshly ground, black pepper.
Once the veggies start to soften, add some shredded chicken. I used some of the chicken I set aside from the rotisserie chicken I used to make the chicken stock. Next I added the stock, a bay leaf, parsley and thyme. Time to make a roux for the white sauce.
A roux (ROO) is used to thicken sauces and soups. It is a mixture of melted butter (or fat), to which you add flour and cook until it bubbles and the raw flour taste is cooked out. There are different shades of roux from white, light (blond), medium and dark. The shorter the cooking time the lighter the color of the roux. The lighter the color, the thicker it will make the sauce or soup. So, if you cook it a long time it will turn a dark, nutty brown with loads of flavor, but won’t thicken as much as a blond roux, like we are using. When making a sauce with the roux, once you’ve cooked the butter and flour to the desired color, you then add the liquid. In this case the liquid is milk, to make a white sauce.
You can see that the roux is a tan color and foaming, this is what we want. Now add the cold milk and whisk a couple minutes, until thickened.
Now that the soup has had time to cook and the vegetables are soft, add the white sauce and whisk well to incorporate, until creamy. Doesn’t that look so yummy? Now we make the dumplings while the soup simmers away.
These dumplings are a simplified biscuit dough and it is just that, simple. I mix flour, salt and baking powder together, make a well in the middle and pour the milk and oil in the well. Next, I stir until it just comes together into a ball and then comes the fun part, rolling the dumplings.
I keep them small, like 1″ across. They will grow and puff up and become the perfect size for eating. Once they are rolled, I gently place each one into the soup and cover. They quickly pop up to the top and steam in the hot, covered soup.
The picture on the left is immediately after I dropped them in and before I put the lid on. The picture on the right is after 10 minutes of cooking and steaming in the covered soup.
That’s it, the soup du jour. Now serve with a side salad and remember, whoever has the bay leaf in their bowl gets to make a wish!! ENJOY!
Chicken and Dumplings Soup
1/4 c. butter
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled, and sliced
4 stalks celery, washed and sliced
2 cups shredded chicken
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
8-10 cups of chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 c. milk
For the Dumplings:
1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 c. milk
2 T. oil
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, melt 1/4 c. butter and add onion, carrots, celery, salt and pepper. Saute until onions are translucent. Add shredded chicken, stock, bay leaf, parsley and thyme. Bring soup to a simmer. In a medium sauce pan, over medium heat, melt 1/4 c. butter then add the 1/4 c. flour. Whisk, and allow roux to foam and bubble until it becomes a light tan color, about 5 minutes. Pour in the milk and whisk well to incorporate. Once the white sauce is thick, add to the soup and whisk well, until creamy. Continue simmering the soup while the dumplings are made.
To make the dumplings, mix the 1 c. flour, salt, and baking powder into a medium bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk and oil. Mix with a fork until the dough forms a ball. Form dough into 1″ balls and set aside on a plate. Keep the dumplings covered with plastic wrap until 10 minutes before serving the soup, then add them to the soup and cover. Serve immediately. ENJOY!!