Chicken Dumpling Soup

Ok, confession time – I haven’t been motivated to post anything on my blog nor keep up with my Facebook Page lately.  We have been renovating our master bathroom by ourselves and my emotions & energy seem to be swinging like a pendulum daily.  We live in a 100 plus year old house in Philadelphia and in the past 15 years since we moved into this house we’ve re-painted some rooms, completely renovated the kitchen, installed some new windows, did some minor bathroom works, and got new roof in.  I know that the work will continue as long as we own a house… 

We’ve done more take out food in the past 2 weeks and I realized few days ago that my energy level has gone down.  Of course it’s due to the bathroom renovation, but it’s also the quality of food we have been eating.  So I pushed my tired a**ed  self to the market and got tons of vegetables to make my healing chicken soup.  I know that most people don’t put that much vegetables in chicken soup, but I like to load them with vegetables (truthfully for me, it’s the easiest way to eat lots of vegetables this way).

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Makes 8-10 servings:   please adjust the amount and ingredients based on your preference.

1 whole chicken (I used about a 3-4 pound chicken)

14 cups water

6-8 cloves of garlic

2 medium onions, cut into halves

1 lemon, sliced into 1 inch thick pieces

assortment of chopped vegetables :  I used potatoes, rutabaga, turnips, broccoli stem, carrots, golden beets, and red & orange bell peppers

2 cups all purpose flour

1 Tablespoon vegetable shortening

1 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, beaten

1/3 cup chopped parsley

2/3 cup cold water

Put the chicken in a large enough pot and add 14 cups water; add garlics, onions and lemon.  Bring the water to a boil & lower the heat and simmer (covered) for about 1 hour (I usually do a bit longer).  Make sure you skim the froth. 
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Transfer the chicken, garlics, onions and lemon to a large bowl.  When the chicken is cool enough to handle take the meat off and either shred or cut the meat into bite size pieces; keep the meat in the refrigerator (discard the rest). 

Let the soup stock cool and keep inside the refrigerator overnight.  The next day skim off any fat that floated to the surface and re-heat the soup. 

Bring the soup to a boil and add the vegetables, turn down the heat and simmer the soup for about 30 minutes (or until the vegetables are cooked).  Add the meat and simmer for another 10 minutes. 

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Dumpling: In a bowl blend together flour, shortening, salt and parsley (best done with your hands).   In a separate bowl beat the egg and add 2/3 cup cold water.  Gradually add the egg mixture into the flour mixture and form a soft dough (dough is not sticky at this point).  Wrap in a plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. 

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When you are ready to assemble the soup, bring the soup back to a boil and take the dough out from the refrigerator.  Tear equal sized dough pieces and drop them into the soup.  You’ll know that the dumplings are cooked when they float up.  Repeat the process & stir the soup. 

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This is our Fall/Winter staple dish!  Sometimes I add chopped kale into the soup which also adds a different depth in flavor.  I always make extra so that we can have this soup for couple of meals. 

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