Time sure flies, especially in the month of February; it’s almost OVER? Didn’t it just start? So this month’s Progressive Eats event is upon us a bit earlier than normal but I’m thinking it’s perfect timing. Except for the heartless person bragging today about living in ‘SoCal’ because they are not dealing with snow, most of us are in the middle of winter. Snow, sleet, ice, windchill; words we are hearing too often. Freezing cold and too much snow are wrecking havoc out East and I feel lucky we’ve only just received 8 inches of snow, but still, it’s winter, it’s cold and it’s time to say Soup’s On!
This months’ event is being hosted by Lauren Keating from the blog Healthy. Delicious. My contribution to this event is healthy because Chicken Soup is magical. Seriously. OK, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement but it has been proven to have positive health benefits; my version is chock full of veggies and that it tastes so warm and satisfying is why I think it’s so good for you! Without a doubt my favorite soup and I know this for a fact; it is certainly delicious!
My grandmother first made this soup and then my mother before me and I’ve been cooking it for years. I’ve made some slight variations of my own; the peas, mushrooms, white wine and balsamic vinegar are ingredients I thought could only elevate a fabulous soup with a layering of additional flavors. The decision to brown the chicken is a good one but still, it’s just a modification of what has always been an old and comforting favorite.
Sick? This is my tried and true dish for friends that are under the weather; I have a feeling some will even fake a cold if it means I pull out the stockpot and make chicken and dumplings for them!
Though I typically make this soup using freshly purchased chicken, it’s also a great way to use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving; either prepare the soup and include chopped up pieces from your leftovers or put some bone in pieces into the stock and cook long enough for the meat to fall off the bone. Believe me, turkey and dumpling soup is equally delicious! I’ll use a whole chicken, cut up parts or this time around, boneless thighs. Have to tell you; I loved them. SO easy once it was done to just pull the meat apart and not deal with bones. It is definitely my new favorite!
True confession? I use Bisquick for the dumplings. It is the only reason I buy it. Sure, I could make my own biscuit mix but Bisquick has never failed me and the truth is I hesitate to try anything else for fear I won’t like them and will have used some of my precious soup for a trial that did not work. If you have a great recipe; please leave it in the comments; I might try something that comes highly recommended! I like dumplings that are light and fluffy and just absorb a bit of the surrounding soup. Umm um, good!
The hardest part of making soup for the blog is taking the time to write down ingredients; I doubt I make it the same each time, but this time I paid attention and the result was outstanding so I think we’re good to go. Another thing I do that my Grandma did not. I make the soup using chicken stock, not water. If made with water I’ve simply made stock…so if serving as soup it needs to be richer so the addition of stock to the mix makes a huge difference. Try it, you’ll see!
Handed down from my grandmother through generations; this is our favorite soup.
For the seasoned flour
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
For the Soup
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces or 8-10 boneless thighs or combination of thighs and breast meat
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3-4 large carrots, sliced
- 1 cup celery, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced (optional)
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup white wine (optional but not really)
- 2-3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary leaves, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1/2 to 1 cup of frozen peas (optional)
- 1/2 cup half and half
For the Dumplings
- 2 cups baking mix (I use Bisquick)
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2-3 sprigs of parsley, minced (optional but sure attractive!)
- Mix ingredients for seasoned flour and put into a shallow dish or plate, holding aside 1/4 cup of mixture.
- Add butter and olive oil to pot and heat on medium until sizzling.
- Make sure chicken has been patted dry; put into seasoned flour mixture and put pieces into pot; do not crowd. Saute a couple of minutes on each side until lightly browned. Remove all pieces and put onto plate. We're just browning, not thoroughly cooking the chicken.
- Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic to pot and saute lightly for about 5-7 minutes until onion is translucent. Add mushrooms and saute just until they start to wilt.
- Return chicken to pot and add chicken stock, white wine, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, paprika and bay leaves to pot; if necessary, add enough water to cover all ingredients and bring to simmer. Cover and cook on low heat for approximately 60 minutes til meat is tender and/or falling off of bone if using chicken parts.. Remove the chicken from the stock and allow to cool. Once cool, remove skin and bones if necessary and pull meat into bite size pieces and return chicken to pot.
- Taste soup and correct seasonings if necessary.
- Add reserved seasoned flour to half and half and add mixture to soup. Bring to a boil to thicken.
To Make Dumplings:
- Mix baking mix and milk just until soft dough forms. Drop by spoonfuls onto boiling soup, reduce heat. Cook uncovered 10 minutes, Cover and cook additional 10 minutes.
- Remove dumplings to a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Add peas if using to soup stock. Allow soup to cool for approximately 5 minutes and serve in bowls with dumplings.
I've always used Bisquick for the dumplings...guess it's a family tradition. It's a combination of flour, leavening and shortening but you can use any recipe you have for dumplings.
Soups On! Visit some of my friends for more fabulous dishes for a dinner focused on soup.
Lamb and Barley Soup from Healthy Delicious
Sausage, Pepper and Bean Soup from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Creole Black Eyed Pea Soup from Never Enough Thyme
Old Fashioned Chicken Soup with Dumplings from Creative Culinary
Watercress and Buttermilk Vichysoisse from The Wimpy Vegetarian
Pressure Cooker Chorizo Chicken and Kale Soup from Pressure Cooking Today
Rhode Island Clam Chowder from girlichef
Salads and Breads
Quinoa Beet Kale Apple Walnut Goat Cheese Salad from Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Gado Gado – Indonesian Vegetable Salad from Spice Roots
Buttermilk Herb Rolls from Stetted
Gluten-Free Corn Muffins with Jalapeno and Cheese from The Heritage Cook
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is Soup’s On! and is hosted by Lauren Keating who blogs at Healthy. Delicious. Need some warming up? We can help!
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.