I’ve been thinking a lot about soup lately. Craving it too; the way it fills your tummy, nourishing your soul in the process. It started last week when I was out having dinner with a friend, and tried some of her coriander and lime soup. It was love at first sip and she ended up sharing the bowl with me, poor thing. Since then, I’ve had soup thrice in the past five days, including that time I sat outside in the blazing Delhi sun, sipping steaming hot tomato soup out of a paper cup, my tummy cooing in satisfaction, while the rest of my body wondered what was going on. The coriander and lime soup got me thinking about mom’s dumpling soup, which is so good you will have tears in your eyes and hear angels sing as you lean in for another sip. But since she is thousands of miles away, and I am not inclined to take time out of my day to make dumplings, I found myself on the lookout for a less time consuming recipe.
As fate would have it, while rustling through my suitcase the next morning, trying to find something to wear to work (yes mummy, I'm sorry, your daughter is still a slob), I found my cookery notebook safely tucked away in the bottom corner. I'd forgotten that I'd packed it with me, which is a bit surprising considering how a mere two months ago I was carrying it around everywhere and sleeping with it under my pillow.
Anyway, I keep a long list of must-try recipes in this notebook and somewhere down that list, I found 'Chicken Dumpling Soup' by Rachel Khoo. The stars had aligned! Here was a dumpling soup that sounded delicious and wouldn’t require me to slave away in the kitchen all day. The reason I'd noted it down (besides the fact that it sounded really tasty), is that to me, it was a completely new take on dumplings and seemed like one of those dishes that would be simple yet elegant. And it was. If I hadn't spent all afternoon trying to take photographs at every step, it would have taken me half an hour to prepare this- and I'm a SLOW cook too!
All you need are a few basic pantry ingredients, chicken breasts, and you’re set. You don’t even need fancy vegetables that will steal the show- just some carrots, mushrooms; and maybe beans, if you have them lying around. Their role is to simply set the stage for the dumplings who are definitely the stars here- light, succulent, smooth and creamy with that delicious chicken flavor shining through. If you want to spice things up a bit (I'm Indian, I can't help it), add a green chilli to the chicken when pulverizing it.
What I love about Rachel Khoo (besides those cute dresses and bright-red lipstick) is that every recipe that I have tried from The Little Paris Kitchen has turned out beautifully, and the dumpling soup was no exception. It works well as a light dinner, maybe with a salad on the side, if you want to fancy it up a bit. Bon Appétit!
Chicken Dumpling Soup
(Adapted from The Little Paris Kitchen)
3 carrots, diced
250 gm mushrooms, sliced thinly
2 green chilies, sliced into halves
200 gm chicken
5 slices of white bread, crust removed
6 cups chicken stock
100 ml single cream
1 egg, and 1 yolk
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch parsley (optional)
Add the carrots and chilies to a deep-bottomed pot. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Season as needed.
Meanwhile, pulverize the chicken, eggs, cream, bread, salt and pepper. Blend to a paste-like consistency.
Shape the chicken mixture into dumplings of roughly the same size using two tablespoons and drop into the stock when it has come to a boil.
The dumplings will rise to the surface when they are cooked; this should take about 5 minutes.
Reduce the flame and add the mushrooms. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove the chili slices, garnish with parsley and serve