The thing that's made me a bit sad about the mild winter is that I haven't made nearly enough soups or stews. But this Sunday I returned to my fall/winter Sunday night soup-making and made a big batch of stew with dumplings. Dumplings--not the filled variety found in a variety of Asian cuisines or gnocchi or perogies--the kind I thought were lost to me when I gave up meat-eating. Doughy, delicious dumplings like I thought could only be found atop chicken stew.
I really did think that dumplings were a thing I would miss when I became a vegetarian so many years ago. But it turns out, you can pretty much make that recipe of the back of a Bisquick box and plop them on top of almost any soup.
And there was a time when I would have done that. (Pretty much my entire last year of college)
Now, being more grown up and more food-conscious, I make them from unbleached all purpose flour, aluminum-free baking powder, farm-fresh butter (when I can get my hands on it!), and a bit of fresh yogurt. Then, of course, I tart them up a bit by adding some grated Parmesan and some chopped fresh herbs. You could really add almost any flavorings you'd like. I would actually love to do a version with crushed black pepper...maybe over a root-vegetable and white bean stew...
This stew is very simple, but flavorful. Using high-quality tomatoes (I used my home-canned) and good quality vegetable stock (more on that
A note about salt in this recipe: I've adjusted the original to accommodate my use of home-canned tomatoes, homemade stock and home-cooked beans--all of which include very little salt. So, I begin with a pinch and adjust accordingly. If you use store bought tomatoes, stock, and canned beans you might not need any at all.
On a totally unrelated note: I'm pretty proud of these pictures. Some of the best I've taken (partially thanks to Simply Life and the photography wisdom she shared on her blog). D says that the stew looks like "the bubbly aliens from Dr. Who". I'm still proud of myself. He can't bring me down.
Plus it tastes really good.
Chickpea and Kale Stew with Herb Dumplings
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking, published by Murdoch Books
1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 t cumin
1 t coriander
1/4 t chili powder
a pinch of salt
4 c vegetable stock
1-28 oz can chopped tomatoes (or 1 quart jar of home canned tomatoes)
2 c cooked chickpeas (or 1 1/2 cans)
1 T chopped cilantro
3 large kale leaves, chopped
1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t aluminum-free baking powder
1/4 t salt
2 T unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 T freshly grated Parmesan
2 T chopped mixed herbs (cilantro, parsley, chives, etc)
3 T plain yogurt
water as needed
In a large sauce pan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened (3-5 min). Add the garlic and spices and cook for another minute or two. Add the stock, tomatoes, and chickpeas. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for ten minutes.
While you're waiting for the stew to boil/simmer mix up the dumplings. Whisk together the dry ingredients, Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until well combined (it should look like coarse sand). Mix in the cheese and herbs, then add the yogurt. Mix well, either using the flat side of a butter knife or your hands. If it's too dry, add water a teaspoon until the dough comes together. Flatten into a disk and divide into eight pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Set aside.
Once the stew has simmered for ten minutes, add the cilantro and kale. Stir. Add the dumplings. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the dumplings comes out clean.
This recipe has been submitted to the Hearth and Soul Tuesday Blog Hop hosted by The 21st Century Housewife