Announcing the Soup Contest Winner
Good g-d it is snowy out there! Chicago weather really knows how to pile it on. You know it’s bad when the snow keeps up a steady heavy pace for 20 straight hours and the ordinarily-10-minute-drive takes you an hour and 10 minutes instead. My back hurts from cleaning off the foot-high mounds of snow off my car, and I know I’m not the only one.
In fact, I know that what we all need right now is a steaming hot and hearty bowl of soup. My body yearns for something to warm me up and soup would be just perfect.
So lucky for me, we just picked a winner for the Recipe4Living Soup Contest last week. With the overwhelming stream of soup recipes that came in, I now know what soup to make. And the winner is…
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 med./lg. yellow onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped into 1/4-inch chunks
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds, about 1/2-inch thick
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 qt. chicken broth
1 3-4 lb. chicken, cut up
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbs. poultry seasoning
1 bay leaf
1 C. frozen peas (optional)
2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
2 C. all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. butter
1 C. whole milk
1/4 C. minced fresh herbs such as parsley, chives, rosemary and tarragon (or use 2 tsp. mixed dried herbs such as Herbs de Provence or Herbs Fines)
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large stock pot. Add the onion, celery and carrots to the hot oil. Saute the vegetables for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions just start to brown. Add the garlic and stir briefly. Pour the chicken broth into the stockpot. Add the chicken, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Add enough water to cover the chicken completely, if necessary. Bring the soup to a boil over med-high heat. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook the chicken, uncovered, for about 1 1/2 hours, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked through and will pull from the bones easily. When the chicken is done, remove it from the pot and set it aside to cool.
Use a slotted spoon to remove any floating scum from the broth, if necessary. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Taste the broth for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if desired. Return the broth and vegetables to a simmer.
While the chicken is cooking, start making the dumplings. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the herbs. Heat the butter and milk until the milk is warm and the butter is completely melted. Add the milk and butter to the dry ingredients. Mix with a fork until mixture just comes together (be careful not to overwork the dough or your dumplings will turn out too dense.) If the dough is too sticky, sprinkle in a little extra flour. Set aside.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, tear all of the meat from the bones and remove the skin. Discard the skin and bones. Tear or cut the chicken into large bite-sized pieces and drop them back into the simmering stew. Add the peas.
Using a spoon, gently scoop out 1-2 inch “balls” of dough (about the size of a large walnut) Set aside. Drop formed dumplings on the surface of the stew; cover and simmer until dumplings are cooked through, 12-15 minutes. Ladle portions of soup, vegetables, and dumplings into large bowls or soup plates, garnish each with a pinch of parsley, and serve immediately.