Monday, January 31, 2011

Double Chicken Dumpling Stoup



While I love to have soup on cold evenings, Darin doesn’t consider soup an “entrée”. I think this “stoup” (as Rachael Ray calls it a combination of a soup + stew) completely altered his perceptions of this. The flavors reminded us of Chicken & Dumplings, but a lighter and healthier version of it. First, you sauté the chopped celery, carrots, and onions, add some flavorful stock, and finally add in the ground turkey meatballs and gnocchi. Gnocchi is a potato dumpling that is boiled in a liquid- the end result is a soft and comforting dumpling that upped the dumpling factor. I made this meal in under 1 hour including prep time. The “stoup” was very hearty, and definitely made us both feel full.


I did alter the original recipe as I felt it needed a bit more seasoning (but this could be due to the fact that I use unsalted chicken stock). Definitely use a 5-qt stock pot or dutch oven, as it nearly filled up ¾ of the way full. Definitely make the meatballs bite-sized! Darin and I both loved this dish, and we are looking forward to making it again soon. More satisfying than chicken soup, and less heavy than a hearty stew.

Here is a picture of a gnocchi (cooked):


Double Chicken Dumpling Stoup

Ingredients:
Soup:
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 4 ribs celery from the heart, stringed and chopped (I like to chop up the entire bag of celery)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 carrots, shredded (1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 fresh bay leaf (we use 1 dried bay leaf)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • Dash of Italian seasoning
Chicken Meatballs:
  • 1 pound ground chicken or ground turkey
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs (a couple of generous handfuls)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (a couple of generous handfuls)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Dash freshly grated nutmeg
Fixings:
  • One 1-pound package gnocchi (Can find in freezer aisle at the grocery store, or Trader Joe's has a whole wheat version)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (a couple of generous handfuls)
  • Garlic salt (optional)
  • Crusty bread, for dunking

Directions:
  1. In a soup pot, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. (I use a large Dutch Oven and keep the heat on med-low.)
  2. Add the celery, onions, carrots and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes until semi-tender (for me, this depends on how many veggies I put in, but it could take 45-60 minutes on med-low heat- I like to have it semi-soft when I bite into the veggies. Also, celery takes longer to get soft, so I always have those sauteeing first for a bit before adding the other vegetables.) 
  3. Stir in the stock and Italian seasoning, cover the pot and bring to a boil.
  4. Meanwhile, in a bowl, season the chicken with salt and pepper. Stir in the egg, bread crumbs, cheese, garlic and nutmeg.
  5. Roll the mixture into walnut-sized meatballs (you'll have about 40) and add to the stoup. Simmer for about 10 minutes while you wash up.
  6. Add the gnocchi to the stoup and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the peas and parsley and cook for 2 minutes.
  8. Remove the stoup from the heat, discard the bay leaf and let cool for 5 minutes. Season with additional garlic salt to your desired taste. (May not need to if using salted chicken stock.)
  9. Serve with the bread.


Source: Slightly adapted from Rachael Ray magazine (2007)

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