Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dirty Dumpling Soup

Usually when I think "dumpling soup," I envision the kind that contains asian-style dumplings, as in yesterday's post. However, reading MoFo posts lately, the other kind of dumpling soup has been catching my eye—the kind that contains dumplings consisting of simmered biscuit dough. I think I might have had this type of soup a time or two in my childhood, but since then it's been totally off my radar. It was therefore a delight not only to rediscover this tasty dish, but also to experience how wildly it exceeded my expectations.  The moist exterior and fluffy biscuit interior of the dumplings is the best texture contrast I can imagine. I call this soup dirty because it contains two things I'm ashamed to have in my pantry: Bisquick (which I only recently learned is vegan) and instant mashed potato flakes (which I mostly use as a thickener, but sometimes eat as mashed potatoes if I'm desperate and the blinds are closed).

The ingredients
about 2 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
6 cups assorted chopped vegetables (I used green pepper, butternut squash, cabbage, carrots, and fava beans)
6 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 cup kale, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups seitan, chopped
1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes

2 cups Bisquick
2/3 cup milk alternative
1/2 t ground thyme
1 t ground sage
1/8-1/4 t black pepper

The process
  1. In a stockpot over medium heat, saute the onion in olive oil until softened.  Add garlic and continue to cook another 1-2 minutes.  Add the assorted vegetables (but NOT kale or mushrooms) and continue to cook, stirring, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add broth and water, raise heat to high, and bring to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile, make biscuit dough: in a small bowl, stir together all biscuit ingredients just until combined.
  4. Add mushrooms, seitan and potato flakes to broth, and return to boiling.  Drop biscuit dough into broth and gently boil, uncovered, 10 minutes.
  5. Push the dumplings aside and slip the kale into the soup, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until dumplings are cooked through.

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