January 11, 2008
My neighbor was remarking the other day that she hadn't seen us very much and wanted to know if we had been sick. I explained that we had been sick, but the truth is that every winter you will see less of us. When the wind and cold come in from the north, we hide from the elements in our warm and snuggly house. That's when it becomes quite obvious that we are Southerners and not native New Yorkers.
Any snowfall will see us outside and enjoying it, but bundled up as though we were starting out on an Arctic expedition. All four of us are garbed in parkas, snowsuits, insulated boots with our feet in layers of socks, multiple pairs of gloves, scarves and hats. We even resort to hand and foot warmers on very cold days.
In winter weather, I always seem to have a pot of soup on the stove or a stew going in the crock pot. Nothing warms us up as well as a bowl of soup or stew. As an edible tummy heater, it warms us up from the inside out, making all of us very contented. After we come inside from the snow, it's the only thing that can tempt the kids away from their cuddle with the radiators.
This recipe is for Roast Chicken Soup with Roast Pumpkin and Sage Dumplings, comes from the Book of Soups by The Culinary Institute of America (2005). It was originally made with roast turkey and butternut squash, but I used the chicken and pumpkin that I had on hand. My modification to the recipe was to make the sage dumplings gluten free.
The Roast Chicken Soup has a deep and soothing flavor. Each spoonful is spiked with the richness of the bay leaves and the roasted pumpkin. The tender sage dumplings add a heady spiciness to the flavor of the broth, reminding me of the foods of Thanksgiving and Christmas. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the savory flavor of the soup. My son liked the soup, but it preferred it without the pumpkin and dumplings. My daughter didn't care for the soup at all. She feels that pumpkins belong in muffins and not in her soup. Plus the dumplings were too soft and not firm like noodles. She prefers the firmer texture of noodles. Since most of us enjoyed this soup so much, I'll definitely make this recipe again. The next time I make it, I'll set aside some roast chicken and vegetables for my daughter to eat.
3 lb roasted chicken, skinned, boned and diced
3 qt chicken broth
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
5 - 6 whole black peppercorns
1 Tb dried parsley
1 large bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Sea Salt, to taste
2 cups fresh pumpkin, diced
Sea salt, to taste
Ground pepper, to taste
1 recipe Sage Dumplings
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat the bottom of a jellyroll pan with olive oil. Peal and seed a small pumpkin. Then dice the pumpkin and place it on the cookie pan. Turn the pumpkin over in the oil so that the sides get covered. Make sure all the pumpkin pieces are in a single layer on the pan.
2. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the pumpkin over. Return the pan to the oven and continue to bake for another 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool.
2. In a Dutch oven, pour in the chicken broth and put on medium heat. Dump in the chicken, onion, carrot, celery and peppercorns, parsley, bay leaf, thyme and sea salt. Allow to simmer for about 1 hour.
3. To serve, ladle the soup in to warm bowls and then top with roasted pumpkin and sage dumplings.
1 1/4 lb yellow sweet potatoes
1/3 cup corn flour
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1 1/2 Tb arrowroot starch
2 tsp chia seed meal*
1 Tb sea salt
1 tsp dried sage
1 egg, beaten
1 Tb olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then coat the bottom of a baking dish with olive oil.
2. In a large bowl, pour in some cold water and some lemon juice. Peel the sweet potatoes, as you finish peeling each one place it in the acidic water. When you are ready to dice the sweet potatoes, remove them one at a time to cut them. This will keep the sweet potatoes from turning dark. Dump the diced sweet potato in the baking dish.
3. Place the sweet potatoes in the oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until tender.
4. When the sweet potatoes are done, remove them from the oven to cool. Dump the sweet potatoes into a large mixing bowl and mash them.
5. In a medium bowl, dump in the flours, salt, sage and chia seed meal. Stir together.
6. Add the flour mixture to the sweet potatoes mash and stir together. Plop in the beaten egg and olive oil and continue to stir together. When you are finished stirring the mixture will be soft.
7. Put the sweet potato mixture into a pastry bag and pipe out 1 inch tubes onto parchment paper.
8. Pour water into a large skillet until it is at least 1 to 1 1/2 inches deep. Then add about 2 teaspoons of sea salt to the water and stir. Bring the water to a boil.
9. Using a fork or a small spatula, ease the dumpling dough off the parchment paper and add to the water. Cook until they begin to float in the water, approximately 90 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, remove the dumplings and place on a jellyroll pan to drain. Serve with the soup. Cook's Notes: It will take a little while to cook all the dumplings. I cooked enough to serve with dinner and then finished the rest after our meal was over. You can cook the dumplings the day before. Then store them in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
* I purchased my chia seed from Native Seeds/SEARCH. Then ground the seeds in a coffee grinder that is dedicated to grinding spices and flours. (Note: One local organic grocery store, Mrs. Green's, sells chia seeds from Shiloh Farms.)