February 7, 2011

Vegetable Stew with Dumplings


I like challenges, especially food ones that involve coming up with a meal based on what's already in the kitchen. Maybe its because I'm lazy or maybe I'm just creative. Yes, I'll go with the latter! Anyways, I had a variety of frozen vegetables and a craving for some kind of stew or homemade pot pie, i.e. comfort food. Then I flash backed to my youth when my mom and both my grandmothers made chicken with dumplings, which I loved simply for the dumplings. So scratch the chicken and add a variety of vegetables and voila, I present vegetable stew with dumplings!

Ingredients:
Since I didn't really have a recipe for follow and I was making this for just one, I guessed on the measurements. I also used all frozen vegetables, except for the carrots, courtesy of Trader Joes. So if you're making it for more than just one, double or triple the recipe. The great thing about it is the veggies don't take long to cook so you can add as you go. Same goes for the broth - you can make it as soup-y or stew-y as you prefer.


for the stew:
  • carrots (1 cup, diced)
  • green beans (1 cup, diced)
  • asparagus (1 cup, diced)
  • broccoli florets (1 cup, diced)
  • salt and pepper
  • vegetable or chicken broth (2-3 cups)
  • milk (1.5 cups) (I used coconut milk, but regular milk works well too)
  • all purpose flour (1/3 cup)
for the dumplings:
  • all purpose flour (2 cups)
  • salt (1 teaspoon)
  • basil (chopped, 1 teaspoon)
  • ice water
Directions:
Heat a heavy soup pot over medium heat with olive oil. When oil is hot, add all of the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add stock and raise heat to bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium-low. Mix flour in a cup with some water, whisk the roux into the soup.

To prepare the dumplings: mix the flour with the salt and basil and mound in a mixing bowl. Drizzle a small amount of ice water over the flour. Moving from the center to the sides of the bowl, gradually add about 3/4 cups of cold water. Knead the dough and form into a ball.

Pull a piece of the dough and drop halves in the simmering soup. Repeat.


Do not stir the soup once the dumplings have been added, instead gently move the pot in a circular motion so the dumplings become submerged and cook evenly. Cook until the dumplings are no longer doughy, 4 to 5 minutes.

Ladle the soup and dumplings into bowls and serve! The end result reminded me of a cream of broccoli soup (one of my favorite things), but kicked up with extra veggies and dumplings. Mmmmmmmmmmm good!

Note: If the soup is too thin it can be thickened before the dumplings are added, by mixing 1 or 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and whisk the mixture into the stew.

Also, if you need to season the soup more, use some chicken or vegetable instant bouillon granules or cubes (like Wylers).

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