Creamy chicken soup topped with pillowy dumplings of dough is comforting and delicious.
For the soup:
- 1 pound chicken cutlets
- 1+1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 cup leeks, rinsed, quartered and sliced thin
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- kosher salt and black pepper
For the dumplings:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 cups chicken stock
- Set a heavy-bottomed soup pot over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and warm. Season chicken cutlets with salt and pepper, then transfer to the hot pot. Oil should sizzle to indicate pot is hot enough. Sear for 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a clean bowl.
- While chicken cooks, prep veggies and whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and mustard powder for the dumplings.
- After chicken is set aside, add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pot and set heat to medium. Once warm, add the carrots, celery, leeks and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Sweat veggies until softened, about 5-8 minutes. Do not brown. Stir often.
- Pour the chicken stock into a large saucepan. If liquid isn’t at least 2 inches deep, add 1-2 cups of water. Set over high heat and bring to a boil.
- Whisk or stir 1 cup of milk into flour mixture to make the dumpling batter. Mixture should be firm and sticky, wet but not soggy. If need be, add another 2-3 tablespoons of milk. Once the stock is boiling, use a tablespoon measure or small ice cream scoop to scoop balls of dough into the liquid. After the dumplings float to the surface, cook another 3 minutes or so to cook all the way through. Cut one in half to check doneness. Inside should be dry and airy. Work in batches as necessary, using a slotted spoon to transfer cooked dumplings to a plate or a tray.
- Try not to add more liquid to the stock pot. If the dumplings can no longer float, add a little more water, otherwise, we want this concentrated floury liquid to finish our soup.
- Once the veggies have softened, lower heat, add butter and melt. Then, stir in 1/4 cup of flour. Cook this for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Pour in red wine vinegar and deglaze, or scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Slowly whisk in the milk, being sure to loosen up all that flour from the sides or corners of the pot. Once all the milk is added, increase heat back to medium and let mixture come to a simmer. Stir often.
- Soup will begin to thicken. Slice the chicken into thin pieces and add back to the soup along with any juice that may have collected in the bowl. Stir in the chopped parsley. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Lower heat and let soup simmer very gently as the dumplings finish cooking.
- Once the dumplings are all cooked, ladle 1/2-1 cup of the cooking liquid into the pot of soup and stir to combine. If you want your soup thinner, add more of this starchy stock.
- Remember to remove the sprigs of thyme.
- Transfer 3-4 dumplings per serving to the pot of soup. Warm through then ladle soup and dumplings into bowls and serve hot!
- Keep extra dumplings separate until ready to serve.
If you want to skip the dumplings, the soup on it’s own makes a great meal. Or, you can boil some penne pasta instead and stir that in before serving.