This is a very comforting soup made in about a fourth of the time than regular chicken soup because of the use of breasts instead of a whole chicken. Making this a quick fix when you crave chicken soup with dumplings on a rainy day. Nothing beats a chicken and dumplings soup when you need a little comforting or are simply in the mood for a steaming bowl of nourishing goodness.
These dumplings are the ones I make all the time at home, the spelt flour makes the dumplings extra light and fluffy.
All you have to do is brown seasoned chicken breasts in some olive oil, add the stock and some herbs and onion and simmer until cooked through. Then you remove the chicken and shred or cut it into bite size pieces. In another pan, you pan fry the veggies and add the chicken broth. The dumpling mixture is a one bowl situation, mix everything and shape into balls and drop into the broth, voilà.
Serves : 4 (can easily be doubled)
Prep time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 20 minutes
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 chicken breast
1.5 L water
2 chicken stock cubes
2 bay leafs
1 onion cut in half with skin on for colour
2 cloves, pierced into the onion halves
small bunch of parsley, stalks only (use leafs for serving)
For the soup:
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil olive
1 cup cubed carrot
1 cup celery, cut into bite size pieces
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped fine
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
black pepper to taste
parsley for serving
For the Dumplings:
2 cups white Spelt flour
4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. each dried parsley and dried chives
3/4 cup milk
3 tbsp. olive oil
Place a large pot over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the chicken breasts and season generously with salt and pepper on both sides. I do this when I flip the breasts after browning one side. Meanwhile, boil the water in the kettle.
Once the chicken is nicely coloured, add the stock cubes by crumbling them between your fingers and add the hot water carefully. Add the onion with the cloves, the bay leaves and parsley stalks. Bring to a very slow simmer and cook for about 20-25 minutes depending on the thickness of the breasts.
Once the breasts are cooked through remove them to a plate to cool slightly and strain the stock through a sieve and put back in the large pot and back on the stove to keep hot.
Now make the dumpling mix, by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl, adding a little extra flour if it seems to wet or a little extra water or milk if it seems to dry. The mixture should be soft but shape-able. Set aside.
Heat large pot with a wide opening so you can fit a lot of dumplings in one go* (see note), add the tablespoon of butter and the tablespoon of olive oil. Add all the chopped veggies to the pan and cook until they start to get slightly golden. Add the oregano, thyme and the stock. Bring to a simmer, the veggies will not need too long since they are chopped small, about 15 to 20 minutes in total. So after about 10, minutes you can add the shredded chicken and follow up with the dumplings. Carefully drop the dumplings into the soup, making sure they do not touch. Place a lid on the pot and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 12- 13 minutes. Flip dumplings over with the use of two spoons and cook for another two minutes, with the lid of the pan back on. They will fluff up a lot, so do not overcrowd the pan. Once they care cooked thru, sprinkle with parsley and serve straight away, maybe with some grated Parmesan cheese.
NOTE : Sometimes, I like to cook the dumplings separately if I make a lot of dumplings at the same time. Just heat a pot with simmering salted water and cook dumplings according to the recipe. Later you can add them to the soup, when ready to serve.