Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Minestrone with Parmesan Dumplings

Another belly warmer, this. I'm moving from wonton obsession to dumpling obsession, thanks to a meal at Zum Schneider whilst up in NYC last weekend, and by meal, I mean single bite - that's all it took to get me dumpling crazed.

I've omitted pasta from this soup recipe because of the floating bread balls - but you could forgo dumplingville and stick some elbows, orzos, rotini, anything you'd like in there instead. Or even have both. Oh my.

NOTE: In honor of Ye Olde Top 9, I'm adding a Gluten Free dumpling recipe to this! Find it below the standard dumplings. They're very similar!

Winter Minestrone with Parmesan Dumplings






















For the delicious stew: (makes 8-10 single servings)

1 large can chopped/crushed tomatoes
2 small cans tomato paste
2 zucchini, chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
10 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons freshly minced parsley
3 tablespoons freshly minced chives
Tons of black pepper
1 large bunch kale, sliced to ribbons
6-8 baby carrots, chopped 
2 large ribs celery, chopped
1/2 cup good quality olive oil
1/2 cup bitey red wine
2 cans cannelini beans, well drained and rinsed (I dump them into a colander and rinse under the faucet)
1 can garbanzo beans, see above
1 red pepper, chopped
8 ozs mushrooms, chopped
Handful frozen green beans, chopped
1 tablespoon + more sea salt, to taste
10 cups water


For the (regular) dumplings:

1 cup high-gluten flour, like bread flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 scant tsp baking soda
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried chives or chervil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted, mixed with 1/2 cup milk or water

I usually make my dumpling mix first, and chill it, giving it time to glue together a bit. So go ahead and mix your dry ingredients in a medium bowl, wet ingredients in another smaller bowl, make a well in the center of your flour mix, and while stirring if possible, add your wets to your dry, mixing until un-lumpy. Cover and set in the fridge.

If you're making GF dumplings: 

1 cup GF all purpose flour
1 scant tsp xantham gum
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 scant tsp baking soda
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried chives or chervil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted, mixed with 1/2 cup milk or water

Follow the directions above and proceed with the directions below. They'll be slightly more dense, but deeeelicious!


In a large soup pot, add your olive oil. Over medium high heat, saute your garlic, onion, peppers, carrots and celery for 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add zucchini and mushroom - cook another 3 minutes, until mushrooms begin to soften. Add kale, stir, cook one minute more. Add your wine and turn heat to high for 2 minutes, until it has reduced a bit, then add water, tomatoes, tomato paste, beans including green, herbs, pepper, and salt, stir well, and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook 20 minutes, until all your lovely veggies have softened. (If adding pasta, add 15 minutes into your simmer). Taste. You'll probably need to add a little salt at this point - and maybe a dash of sugar to bring the sweetness of the green beans out - but it's totally up to you.

Now, I'm going to say it - it's almost always best to cook dumplings in the soup you're eating them with. They absorb all the awesome flavors you've been stewing up, and the only trade off is a little cloudiness/ spare floaters in your brew. Some dislike this and would rather cook them separately, in their own little pot of boiling water, and if you'd prefer, go right ahead.


Meanwhile in Julialand, it's time to dump those suckers on top of your stew, so grab your batter from the fridge, get a large, round spoon, moisten one hand, and while the soup is gently simmering, drop one spoonful of batter at a time onto the top of the soup, using your moist finger to push it off of the spoon. Quickly form the rest of the dumplings in this same way and cover your pot. Simmer 8-10 minutes, or until dumplings have just solidified in their middles.


To serve, ladle a chunk of dumpling into the middle of a bowl and spoon soup all around. A little extra grated cheese on top should do the trick. Ah yes, that feels lovely in the belly, doesn't it?


Cheers!
 

28 comments:

  1. Oh my, I could so go for a bowl of this right now. And it looks beautiful. Never had a parm dumpling but that will soon change. This recipe is getting printed as I type! :)

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  2. This looks amazing, I love any soup that includes kale and white beans. Does the chive flavor come out alot with the 3 tbsps? I love chives so just curious. Sadly, I am not a huge dumpling person so I think the orzo would be a fantastic substitute.

    PS--again, love the article, congrats on being featured!

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  3. I too LOVE chives. Odd note - you know the chive-looking grass that grows during spring in our backyards? You can pick and cook with it just as you would the real thing!

    I'd say if the chive flav is your jam, keep them out of the pot until the final 10 minutes of simmering. The later you add herbs to anything you're cooking, the stronger their flavor will be!

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  4. I love the look of those dumplings! I've never made dumplings before and am always making soups etc. Very excited about trying these out, thanks for the inspiration, congrats on Top 9!

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  5. mmm.definitely a nice winter warmer...this looks great :)

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  6. delicious food and pictures, authentic recipe that are easy to replicate at home, thank you for sharing this recipe with us!

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  7. I can't wait to make this. Perfect for the weather we will be experiencing here. Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Yeah, I want this for lunch. Right. Now. I love the dumpling in there instead of pasta! Can't wait to try this one out!

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  9. Hello, love your blog and this is a great recipe!

    Have you ever blog hopped before? We'd love it if you contributed this awesome soup recipe to our blog hop on favorite soups, it's a great way to get links back to your site. Really easy too and live until midnight tonight.

    You can check out our blog hop here:
    http://blog.recipelion.com/fabulous-food-friday-january-blog-hop/

    Thanks,
    Sarah
    Editor
    RecipeLion.com
    blog.recipelion.com

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  10. Congrats on sharing the Top 9 with me today!! :)

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  11. Hey do you know how this reheats? I need to make food ahead to keep in the house for my boyf while I'm away this week. Thanks!

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  12. Holy mackerel, does this look goooood! :-p That little dumpling just barely floating on the top looks so darn lovely. Gosh, this looks good! And congrats for making Top 9! Woot!

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  13. I just found this on foodbuzz and it looks delicious! My German grandma used to make dumplings with dry white bread or buns cut in cubes, then soaked in milk, and then formed into balls together with chives or parsley, fried onions, etc. Sometimes they were filled with buttery fried bread cubes.
    I never tried them in a soup before, but your Minestrone makes me hungry. Thank you for this great idea!

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  14. This is the best Minestrone recipe I've seen yet!

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  15. I don't think I'd have ever thought of putting a dumpling in my minestrone and now I have to ask: why the heck not? It looks delicious.

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  16. @Jessica - I'd say remove the dumplings and keep them aside if you're storing this stew overnight, then add them to single servings as you reheat (either in the microwave or stovetop).

    @susan - I've seen recipes like that before and have soooo wanted to try them! Only problem is, there's rarely white bread in this house. But I might have to make an exception for such a yummy idea :)

    @jenna - grats to you too and hifive!

    Thanks again, all, for the awesome comments.

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  17. This looks really yummy! I'm going to give it a whirl tonight...just wondering bat that amount of olive oil? Seems like a lot, but I will see how it goes. Thanks for sharing!

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  18. @tachel - I love the taste of good olive oil and yup, I indulged a bit here. You can use whatever amount you're comfy with and it shouldn't alter the final product. Enjoy :)

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  19. Mmmmm......just to update, I just finished making this soup and it is phenomenal! I didn't make the dumplings this time, but added a small amount of pasta and some freshly grated parmesan. Perfect for a blustery New England day!

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  20. Hooray! I forgot to mention that this soup is a perfect way to use up parm rinds, as you can add them for the last 20 minutes of simmer and impart the stew with awesome, cheesy goodness.

    Glad to know it pleased. Let me know if you give the dumplings a whirl!

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  21. Great work. The dish looks great. I love the 'scant' in the ingredient list. Thats exactly the unit of measurement I use when I'm cooking.

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  22. Yeah, scant, bit, pinch...it's a struggle sometimes to translate, no?

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  23. Hi Julia!

    I used to work at Julia's Coffee and recently saw Bonnie. She told me about your article in the Charlotte Observer and your blog. Congrats!
    I made this recipe last night for some friends and we all LOVED it! Can't wait to try some of your other recipes. They look delicious!

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  24. I'm always looking the best minestrone soup. I'll sure try yours out. Love the addition of dumplings.

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  25. Hmmm...sounds fantastic!!! I'm going to try this tonight.

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  26. Hi Lis! Bonnie's a doll. Tell her I said so. Also super-glad you loved the soup! And that the dumplings came out just right. Sometimes I get nervous that my recipes aren't as precise as they need to be so it's AWESOME to hear from someone that everything went well.

    @Victor, Daryl - enjoy, darlings! Report back if ya'd like!

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