The days really are warming. There are the prettiest strawberries in the market. It might almost be time to daydream about watermelon wedges. But… I still need soup. The unapologetically comforting kind of soup with soft carrots, big bites of chicken, almost too much thyme, and the fluffiest floating dumplings.
It’s Winter comforts in Spring. Let’s bridge the gap. You know… like wearing a light scarf or shoes with no socks… except this is food and way way delicious.
Boneless and skinless chicken thighs to start. I like chicken thighs because they’re more fatty and flavorful than chicken breast. Always go for flavor!
The meat is seasoned well and browned in hot hot olive oil. This is where the layers of flavor begin.
The holy trinity for soups! Necessary and proper: diced onions, sliced carrots, and sliced celery. Oh… a little garlic too, because YES!
Once the chicken is browned on each side it is removed from the pot and our vegetables are sautéed in the chicken oil. Dried thyme is added too. The saute heat helps bloom the flavor of dried seasoning.
Layers. More layers of flavor.
Once the veggies are softened a bit, time for the return of the chicken, this time with a bay leaf and chicken stock.
This is when the soup becomes soup! Veggies cooked down and chicken cooked through!
Green peas and fresh parsley to really brighten the whole pot.
Once the chicken is simmered to tender and cooked through, I remove it from the pan and chop-shred it. Technical term. I also burn the heck outta my fingers because the chicken is super steamy and I’m too impatient to wait for it to cool. Be like me!
Soup simmers and we make our dumplings.
Of course there’s butter.
I actually used King Arthur Gluten Free Flour Blend for these dumplings and they were delicious!
The butter is broken down into the seasoned flour mixture. A beaten egg and a bit of buttermilk to bring the dumpling dough together!
The batter will be homogenous, a little sticky but not too wet.
Ok! Game face! Time to dollop dumpling batter into simmering soup! (This is totally the best part!)
Grab a small spoon from the silverware drawer. Heap it up with about 2 tablespoons of dough and zing it right into the simmering soup.
Once all the dumplings are in and simmering, we cover the pot for 10 minutes to let the dumplings simmer and cook. It’s tremendous… like little biscuits in hot soup!
Warm and classic comfort in a bowl. And no… you’re not allowed to fish out all of the dumplings for your own consumption. I already thought of that and beat you to it.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- salt and pepper to season chicken thighs
- 1 large yellow onion, coarsely diced
- 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 4 ribs celery, trimmed and sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup buttermilk, cold
- To make the soup, place oil in a heavy bottom soup pot over medium-high heat.
- Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides. Place in the soup pan to brown, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and place on a plate. Chicken won’t be fully cooked through but it will return to the pot to simmer a bit later.
- Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and thyme to the pot. Stir and saute until the onions are cooked through and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Return the chicken to the pot. Add the bay leaf and chicken stock.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are cooked through and softened, about 30 to 40 minutes.
- Remove the chicken when it is cooked through and carefully chop and shred it. Return the chicken to the pan.
- While the soup simmers. Make the dumplings. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, thyme, and pepper. Add the butter and use your fingers to break it down into the flour mixture creating small flecks of butter throughout the mixture.
- Add the beaten egg and buttermilk and stir until just combined. Try not to over-stir the dumpling dough.
- When the vegetables in the soup are cooked through and the chicken is chopped and returned to the pot, bring the soup to a light simmer and season to taste. Stir in peas and parsley. Use a small spoon to gently dollop about 2 tablespoons of dough into the simmering soup.
- The dumpling may sink, but will rise to the surface of the soup as it cooks. Add all of the dumplings.
- Cover the pot. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes the dumplings should be cooked through. Remove from heat and serve warm!