Chicken and Dumplings Soup

We eat soup year round in our household – no matter if the weather is warm or cold, soup is one of the staple things I make each week – each week might be a different variety and the kids have their favorites but my favorite thing about them eating soup is the amount of vegetable I can get them to eat each day.

The Chicken and Dumpling Soup has a special place in my heart for a couple reasons – 1, it’s my favorite childhood soup 2, I finally got to master the dumplings but if you are still on your way to get there be thankful for this Matzo Ball mix that’s as close to perfection as possible. Al those years it took me to venture into making matzo balls and master the process nobody noticed my matzo balls were not home made.

One more thing I like with soups, it’s never a strict recipe – if I say 5 carrots and you add 6.5 that will not ruin your soup. So take the below recipe as a guideline and don’t be too strict.

One other thing – I do not use store bought broth in my soups. Thanksgiving just past so we still have the chest bones fro the Turkey – that’s a great thing to boil and get some broth to freeze in small jars so you add to your soups. Other thing would be to place vegetable scraps in a slow cooker strain and freeze that broth but most often I just boil a lot of veggies in my soup and if you have some meat with a little bit of bone for more flavor that works wonders.

Ingredients for the Stock:

  • 2 Chicken legs with bone and skin (or a chicken back). If you have a whole chicken you can use that, the more chicken with bone you use the more flavorful the soup will be.
  • 5-6 carrots cleaned and cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 1-2 parsley roots peeled and cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 1/4 celery root peeled and cut in slices
  • 4 celery stalks, I leave them whole and remove after they cook. If you prefer to leave in the soup cut them in small pieces.
  • 1 whole yellow onion (you can peel the onion and leave it in one piece), this is another item a remove after coking
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt, pepper and fresh parsley to garnish

Matzo Balls Ingredients:

  • 6-8 TBSP Semolina
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 TBSP corn meal

Preparation:

  • Place 12 cups of water in a large pot, add 1 TSP salt, add the chicken and cook it over medium heat.
  • As the chicken cooks you will notice some white foam on top, you can remove that with a spoon. Removing it helps have a clear stock.
  • Cook the chicken until tender, remove from the pot and let it cool
  • You can strain the stock to remove any small bones or meat and get a clear stock
  • Add the stock back to your pot and add all your veggies – carrots, celery, whole peeled onion, parsley root, celery root. You can add more water if needed (the matzo balls will absorb some liquid so try to judge if more liquid is needed so you don’t eat veggies with the matzo balls and have no stock. I usually add more water.
  • Remove the meat from bones and you can add back the meat you want for the soup in the pot. Otherwise you can use it for a chicken salad
  • Do a taste check and add more salt/pepper if needed
  • Once the carrots and the rest of vegetables are tender you can remove the onion and celery stalks from the pot and work on your matzo balls. ┬áReduce the heat to low.
  • For the Matzo Balls – separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until stiff (I use an electric mixer for this). In a separate ball use a fork to mix the egg yolks and slowly add the olive oil. Combine the two mixtures and start adding the semolina and the corn meal and continue combining with a fork. This mixture should not be runny but should not be crumbly either. If you pick some in a spoon it should not fall from the spoon.
  • Using a spoon you can start adding the matzo balls to the soup – dip the spoon in the stock and scoop part of the matzo ball mixture, place the matzo ball in the soup, once you dip it in the stock the matzo ball will remove from the spoon. Continue until all matzo balls have been added to the soup – dip in the stock, scoop mixture, dip back in the stock. Sprinkle some water on top of the matzo balls, once it starts boiling sprinkle some more cold water – this will help them stay in one piece, if the stock starts boiling too soon they will break apart. Cover the pot and cook the matzo balls for about 15 minutes over low heat.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and Enjoy!

 

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