It’s funny you know, when you think that you are done with soup for the season, but you know what, it comes back to get you. Soup has a purpose, and its primary purpose is to provide warmth and comfort, any time of the year. I mention this as a couple of my coworkers recently asked what I had been cooking, and my response was ‘lots of things’ including things like cobb salad, great pizzas, excellent morning crepes, and chicken and dumpling soup. They both kind of giggled and thought soup season was over, much like I did, but really agreed on the quick comfort of chicken and dumplings.
It was not too long ago when I made won ton soup, and that really reminds me of the Asian version of chicken and dumplings. This soup is chicken soup, without the noodles, a slight twist, and potato dumplings that are to die for. Enough said. This is a great soup to serve on a Sunday afternoon.
- 2 Russet potatoes, skin on, cleaned
- Large pinch of salt
- 1 chicken breast, 2 leg quarters
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, skinned and finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, cleaned and finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 12 oz bottle of amber beer
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 1/2 tbsp sage
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups of chicken stock
- 1/3 cup of all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
Begin by adding your potatoes to a large pot of salted water. Bring this to a boil, and cook until fork tender, roughly 35-45 minutes. During this time, season your chicken with salt and pepper. Bring another large pot (try to use the same pot for making your soup, making it a one pot meal) to medium heat, adding in the olive oil. Once the oil is heated through, add in the chicken pieces, and brown both sides. Once browned, remove them to a plate, covering with aluminum foil.
Next, toss in the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots, and cook until the onion is tender, roughly 10 minutes. Check your potatoes. If they are tender, remove them and let them cool on a plate for about 20 minutes.
Add about 1 tablespoon of the flour to the vegetables, and mix well, and let it cook for about 1 minute or so. You were probably curious about the beer right? Beer adds a nice richness to the soup. Add in the beer, and mix it all up. You can see by adding the beer, and the flour where this soup is heading… to yummy town!
The rest is easy. Toss in your thyme, sage, and bay leaves. Add in the chicken stock. Give it a good mix. Now, lay in your chicken pieces, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes.
As the soup simmers, the potatoes have probably cooled. Carefully remove the skin from the potatoes, and add the potatoes to a large bowl. Use your potato masher, and do just that, lightly mash the potatoes. You don’t want them over mashed, just build a nice smooth texture. Add in the 1/3 cup of flour and the cornstarch, and mix well.
Depending on how rustic you want to go with the chicken, you can leave the pieces whole depending on your guests, or you can remove them, let cool, and shred the chicken, as I did. Place the chicken back in the soup pot and mix well. Remove the bay leaves.
Now it’s time for the classic potato dumpling. Using two spoons, take one spoonful of the potatoes, and with your other spoon, remove it from the first spoon until you have a nice shape, or you can take a large tablespoon and drop it in the soup. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Ladle the soup into your bowls and begin. There was not much conversation going on this past Sunday we all enjoyed the chicken and dumpling soup. Great as a leftover as well.