Chicken and Dumplings with Tomatoes and Kale

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Does everything taste better with kale? I don’t know, but the evidence is piling up.

I made an easy chicken and dumpling soup. I had the broth reserved in the fridge from a chicken I cooked a couple weeks ago. You could use canned broth, too, probably, but it’s easy enough to make your own broth and make it rich and flavorful with lots of vegetables and herbs. I just strain it twice and save it in containers.

I put the broth in a sauce pan, added 1 14.5 ounce can of canned tomatoes to heat and began to mix up the dumplings. I made a big batch because you can cook up some dumplings, serve them and then add more dumplings back to the soup broth. To make the dumplings I mixed 3 eggs, 1/2 cup of water, 1/4 tsp of baking powder and 1 cup of flour. The batter was soft, but hung together on the spoon. I dipped a soup spoon in the boiling water and then into the batter to spoon it into the broth. By dipping my spoon into the hot broth, I ensured that the batter didn’t stick to the spoon and slid easily off into the broth. I let them boil until the floated on top of the broth. While they cooked, I clean two ribs of kale, removing the ribs and chopping the kale leaves. I added them to the soup and served when done.

After I had two bowls of soup, I cooked up the rest of the dumplings and put the soup in the fridge for later. This made 8-12 servings of soup, depending on your bowl. It’s a rich, flavorful soup with a bit of heat from the jalapeños in the canned tomatoes. I frankly love those particular canned tomatoes and will use them in soups a lot.

From start to finish was about 25 minutes.

Chicken Dumpling Soup

Chicken Dumpling Soup

I start my soup by rinsing the whole chicken and removing the innards that are stuffed inside. I toss the entire chicken in the pot whole with the innards that I will fish out and puree for my cat later on. I toss in a whole onion, quartered. Add some salt and pepper, two bay leaves and a bit of turmeric for some color and savory smokiness. I cover with water, bring to a boil, put a lid on and let it simmer for an hour or so until the legs can be moved easily.

In the interim, I take my mushroom brush and clean mushrooms and depending on their size, cut them into halves, quarters or leave them whole. I added about a dozen or more. The goal is to have them be of approximately uniform size.

When the chicken is done, I remove it and let it cool in a colander. I toss in the mushrooms and put the lid back on. Then mix up the dumpling dough.

4 eggs
1 cup water
3 cups flour
salt
and, if you like, a tsp of grated nutmeg

I take a soup spoon and dip it into the simmering soup broth before spooning out a spoonful of the dumpling batter. By doing this, it slips easily off the spoon into the soup – so there’s no mess. I continue to drop soup spoon sized dumplings into the water taking care to keep them uniform in size. I turn the heat down to a low simmer while I debone the chicken. When the dumplings are all floating they are done and I turn the heat lower so they don’t get too tough. I reserve all the white meat for other meals – for chicken salads and sandwiches and only return the dark meat to the soup. I think white meat in the soup gets very dry when it’s reheated, so I prefer to leave it out.