Are you loving this cold weather we are in as much as I am? Or are you one of the people who is still in mourning summer is over? (If so, my condolences). This time of year means ski season is right around the corner so I (and my whole family) get giddy at the thought of weekends of fun coming up soon. But even before said family existed I have always been a fall girl. I love the sweaters, the mugs of apple tea, breaking out my boots, reading by the fire and making soup (and stew) with crusty bread for dinner.
I am sharing this with you because this dinner is one of our favorites – it is a winner for everyone. I have even made it for company. (I am not really thinking that will impress you at all. Just over sharing as usual).
Trying to find meals that everyone likes is no easy feat, but everyone from Rob down to Andrew loves this dinner. And it is one of those one pot meals that you get to clean up as it cooks, great for pulling together before soccer or football and have ready when we get home. You soften the onions, celery and carrots (I buy shredded so much easier!) then bring the chicken broth to a boil, then drop your meatballs in (made with ground chicken, garlic, bread crumbs, and egg) and they cook in 10 minutes. The gnocchi and peas take another 5 minutes, and by then clean up is done. Fresh parsley on top makes it even better.
I got this years ago from a Rachel Ray magazine. I think she might have even technically called it a stoup. The gnocchi really act like dumplings, and the meatballs are melt in your mouth good. And I usually like to make up my own dishes here but this one is really that good. I know you’ll forgive me.
Go forth and enjoy, my friends. This one is a keeper.
Chicken and Dumpling Soup (originally published by Rachel Ray, for printer version click here):
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
4 ribs celery from the heart, chopped
2 onions, chopped
4 carrots, shredded (1-1/2 cups)
1 fresh bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 cups chicken broth
1 pound ground chicken
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs (a couple of generous handfuls)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (a couple of generous handfuls
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Dash freshly grated nutmeg
1 1 pound package gnocchi
1 cup frozen peas
Flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (a couple of generous handfuls)
Crusty bread, for dunking
In a soup pot, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. add the celery, onions, carrots and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the broth, cover the pot and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, season the chicken with salt and pepper. Stir in the egg, bread crumbs, cheese, garlic and nutmeg. Roll the mixture into walnut-sized meatballs (you’ll have about 40) and add to the stoup. Simmer for about 10 minutes while you wash up. Add the gnocchi to the stoup and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the peas and parsley and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the stoup from the heat, discard the bay leaf and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve with the bread.