Soup for the Soul
Firstly, I just want to say thank you for all your beautiful words about my recent post. Your love and support is very special. I am overwhelmed with your kindness, this community is so lovely. It helped a little to make those cookies for David on Saturday. I’m glad I got to share them with you too. He would have liked that. And the cookies would probably all be gone by now if he were here to have them :) Ben and I spent the weekend at Red Hill with my parents and brother, with nothing planned but for all of us to just be around each other. Mum and dad worked on and off in the garden. The vegetable patch is looking incredible, covered with a sea of vibrant, turgid greens simply screaming to be picked and enjoyed. Ben and I read and talked and planned - saving money, houses, travel, the wedding. We slept for 11 hours each night, and went for gorgeous walks in the apprehensive October sun. It was nice. There were tears but it was ok.
On Saturday night Ben, Jackson and I played Monopoly. Upon my request, dad made some mulled wine, which had gorgeous hints of apple and cinnamon - just lovely. We sipped as we played. We all have very different playing styles, which allowed for a fun game. Ben is quite the competitive and ambitious proprietor, Jackson is the cunning strategist, and I simply pick the properties I like the name or colour of. More often than not, this strategy of mine (or lack-there-of), leads me to victory. Go figure. We didn’t get to finish the game, but I had all the pretty yellow properties and I think I looked pretty good for the win ;)
Sunday morning I was flicking through ‘Cuisine’, a New Zealand magazine that mum had recently acquired. I was pleasantly surprised by the variety and quality of the recipes. I love it when a magazine leaves me inspired and itching to cook. As I completed my ritual of marking the recipes that sing out to me for dad to scan and email, I came across one that caused Ben’s eyes to open wide. He insisted we make it for lunch. So we did…
Chicken Dumpling Soup with Orecchiette and Peas
By Kathy Snowball Recipe link
We all really enjoyed this. The dumplings were surprisingly spongy and firm – kind of like the texture of Asian Fish Balls (don’t let that put you off though!). Not overly strong on the chicken flavour, so next time we may increase the ratio of mince to breadcrumbs. No doubt this will alter the texture, yet they should still hold together ok.
The broth was subtle, as I find all homemade chicken stocks to be, yet it was really delicious. I liked the result of using chicken wings to make the stock, as opposed to a whole chicken. I found the flavour to be a little more intense, which was nice. It does mean that you cannot use the chicken meat in the same way if using a whole chicken, yet chicken wings are very cheap so I don’t mind. I was really happy with the flavour, and will use wings in the future to make my stocks!
The orecchiette was a lovely addition. We used a really good quality pasta and I suggest you do the same if you wish to take the dish to an extra special place. Be sure to add the peas at an appropriate time so as to not overcook them, you really want to retain the gorgeous green colour to make the soup pop aesthetically.
This dish was savoured by everyone. Ben and I will definitely be making it again. Good soup for the soul. Interestingly, it felt as though the dish was influenced by a mixture of cultures. It had an underling Italian feel due to the orecchiette and the stock, the texture of the dumplings gave it an Asian twist, and it also had a bit of a Russian feel courtesy of the dumplings, which were flavoured with dill. Yet it was inherently homely. Not your average soup! We doubled the recipe, and mum and dad now have leftovers for when they work late during the week. I’m now wishing we took some home too.
It was a lovely lunch, which warmed our souls and made us feel a little lighter.