Tuesday 3 January 2012

Vegetable Bean Soup with Parsley and Chive Dumplings

This soup, in one form or another, makes a regular appearance on our dinner table. It's more a technique than a recipe; a means to make something comforting and nutritious while using up what we have on hand.

The dumplings are an optional extra but they're like the icing on the cake.  They transform a simple soup into a comfort food classic.

There's a bonus at the end of this recipe too:  I baked the left over dumpling dough into biscuits that I put into the freezer for another day.  There's a yummy breakfast in our immediate future!

To make the soup, you'll need:

  • 1 to 2 litres of stock (I used homemade vegetable stock but any chicken, ham, or beef stock—either homemade or from a box—will work great too.)
  • 2-1/2 cups total of a variety of vegetables, either cooked or raw (I used raw onions and celery and cooked potatoes, carrot, and spinach this time)
  • 1-1/2 cups reconstituted dry beans (I used chick peas this time)
  • Spike seasoning or herbs and garlic

Saut√© the onions, celery, and garlic (if you're using it).  Add the stock and any other raw vegetables.

Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the vegetables are about half-done.

While the soup is cooking, mix the dumpling dough.  To make the dumplings, you'll need:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons each chopped fresh parsley and chives
  • 4 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into slices
  • 1 cup milk

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add the herbs and toss to distribute them through the flour mixture.  Use your hands to work the butter into the dry ingredients, breaking it down into cornflake sized pieces, as you would for biscuits.

Mix in the butter to make a stiff dough.

When the vegetables in the soup are starting to get tender but still have some bite, taste the stock and add a generous amount of seasoning.  Remember that you're going to add more vegetables and the beans.  Once you've adjusted the seasoning, stir in the cooked vegetables and the beans.  If the soup looks like it needs more liquid, add it at this point and re-adjust the seasonings.  Heat the soup until it returns to a simmer.

Using two spoons, drop pieces of the dumpling dough onto the surface of the simmering soup.

Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and let the soup simmer for 20 minutes.  Don't open the pot while the dumplings are cooking.  When the dumplings are cooked, they will look something like this:

Remove the dumplings to a plate, ladle the soup into serving dishes and then top each dish with one or two dumplings.  Serve immediately.

This dumpling recipe makes at least twice as many dumplings as shown here.  Since the dumplings in the post were more than enough for the two of us, I baked the rest of the dough as biscuits.

To make the biscuits, drop the dough onto a buttered baking sheet.  Bake the biscuits at 400˚F for about 15 minutes, until they're cooked through and lightly browned.

Serve the biscuits hot or let them cool on a rack.  If you're saving them for later, store them in an airtight container or ziplock bag and reheat them before you serve them.
This post is linked to the Gallery of Favorites hosted by 21st Century Housewife and Premeditated Leftovers and to Delicious Dish Tuesday, hosted by Coping with Frugality.

Gallery of Favorites


April J Harris said...

What delicious comfort food! I like the idea of pairing the dumplings with your yummy vegetable bean soup as we are trying to cut down on the amount of meat we eat in our house. Thank you for sharing this post with the Gallery of Favorites.

Aunt B said...

Dumplings are always well received at our house. :) Thanks for the opportunity to share my recipe. I always enjoy checking out the links on the Gallery of Favorites.

Alea Milham said...

What a delicious soup! I agree with April, I love the idea of pairing dumplings with a vegetarian soup. Dumplings are so satifying, I bet you don't even miss the meat.

Aunt B said...

Thanks Alea. You're right: The dumplings make the soup a complete meal. Even my "meatatarian" doesn't miss the meat in this one. :)

Alesha @ Full Time Mama said...

Wow, this looks so good, and easy enough for me! =)
Thanks so much for sharing for Delicious Dish Tuesday! Please keep sharing more great recipes!

Aunt B said...

It is both tasty and simple to make. :) I hope you enjoy it.

I appreciate the opportunity to share the recipe.

Amanda said...

I have never made dumpling soup... always been afraid it would get screwed up but your directions make me think I can do it! And it looks soooooooo good! Thanks for sharing with Delicious Dish Tuesday :)

Aunt B said...

I'm glad that my directions are clear enough to make you want to try this Amanda, because dumplings are a great thing to know how to make. Thanks for visiting my post. :)