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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Chunky Veggie Soup with Cornbread Style Dumplings

There is nothing like a little soup to warm you up on a chilly autumn day!

I love this soup because it's a great way to use up whatever vegetables you have kicking around in the fridge or in the garden. And if you don't have any veggies, not to worry. Just pick up whatever is in season to make this soup!

The cornbread style dumplings are hearty and have a great texture. They are a wonderful alternative to regular flour based dumplings. Of course, if you don't have cornmeal, you can make the recipe using 2 cups of white flour instead.

Chunky Veggie Soup with Cornbread Style Dumplings
Serves 6-8

The Soup
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 ½ cups Onions, medium dice (about 0.5cm)
4 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
5 cups Mixed Veggies, medium dice (I used carrot, zucchini, aubergine, red peppers)
2 tbsp Dried Herbs (eg. Oregano, Thyme, Parsley, Chervil, or a mix)
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
4 tbsp Tomato Paste
2 Liters Vegetable Stock (or chicken or beef stock if you like)

In a pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sweat onions, garlic, all the veggies, and the dried herbs for 4-5 minutes. Add the salt, pepper and tomato paste and stir. Then add the stock. Bring up to a boil, then cover, lower the heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 15 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, go ahead and make the dumplings (if you want to omit the dumplings, just let the soup simmer covered for about 45 minutes total and enjoy!).

The Cornbread Style Dumplings
Makes about 20-1 inch dumplings

2 tbsp Freshly Chopped Parsley
1 1/2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 cup Cornmeal
1 cup White Flour
3/4 cup Water

In a large bowl, combine parsley, mustard, baking powder, salt and pepper. Add cornmeal and flour and stir until all ingredients are well mixed.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Slowly pour the water into the well, using a fork to incorporate the flour mixture into the water. Mix just until the dough comes together. Do not overmix or the dumplings will be tough. Using your hands, roll into 1 inch balls.

Once the soup has simmered for 15 minutes, drop the dumplings into the soup, cover and let simmer for another 30 minutes. You will know when the dumplings are ready because they will float to the top of the soup.