Mushroom Soup with Parsley Dumplings

23 Feb


So Alayna had a board meeting and in a strange swing of ambition I decided that I’d tackle a hard soup all by myself. And tackle is exactly what I did. I feel like this soup and I had a love hate relationship for the entire 2.5 hour cooking process. Maybe it was after going to the food store and spending $35 mostly all on ingredients (dried mushrooms, $8- actually you can remove this step if you want and just add 2 more cups of broth- it is less of an earthy taste but I mean, I’m cheap and sort of regret it, so just sayin.’ Also, note I bitch that I spent $35 on soup supplies, which is way more than we normally spend, but still I have 6+ meals out of it. Not bad.)

Or maybe it was getting home, exhausted with 5 bags in my hands from work/gym/grocery store (this is essentially my gym/tan/laundry only it ends with a book in my bed and not a makeout in the bar) and the prospect of starting this big cooking process seemed daunting.

But I knew if just gave up and put veggies and lentils in a soup pot again and called it a different soup because I added say, both kale and chard, Alayna would kill me. So I embarked.

Note in this picture how I’m using all my burners. Then note how the cabinet above my stove which holds pots is totally empty. God bless dishwashers. All in all this soup was really good. I sort of butchered those dumplings because I never used an electric mixer or processor and instead did it all with fork and bowl. So they were eh, a little lumpy. Whatever, I’d eat lumpy dumplings over washing two more things any day. This soup was souper good though. At 10:30pm when I finally sat down with my bowl of mushroom soup and dumplings I was pretty proud of myself. Soups up laddles!

Ingredients
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 ounce dried chanterelle mushrooms
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 big onion
  • 3 thinly sliced leeks
  • 4cups vegetable broth (such as Swanson)
  • A big pinch of cayenne pepper
  • a couple handfuls of carrots
  • 1/2 bag of spinach

Parsley Dumplings

  • 3/4 cup (scant) low-fat cottage cheese
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, room temperature, divided
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup all purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

Preparation

Soup

  • Bring 2 cups water and dried mushrooms to boil in small saucepan. Simmer for 20 minutes. Put aside (with liquid)
  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; stir 30 seconds. Add baby bella mushrooms and thyme; sprinkle with sea salt and sauté until mushrooms are browned, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Add wine; stir until liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute. Set mushroom mixture aside.
  • Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in another heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook until translucent and beginning to brown, stirring often, about 6 minutes. Add leeks and carrots reduce heat to medium, sprinkle with sea salt, and sauté until vegetables are soft and golden, stirring often, about 15 minutes.
  • Bring broth to simmer in large pot over medium-high heat. Pour in reserved mushroom cooking liquid, leaving sediment behind. Add all mushrooms, onion mixture, and cayenne. Add spinach. Keep this pot simmering while you make your dumplings, occasionally giving it a stir.

Parsley Dumplings

  • Puree cottage cheese in mini processor until smooth. Using electric mixer, beat 3 tablespoons butter and eggs in medium bowl. Add cottage cheese, 1/2 cup flour, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and nutmeg; beat on low speed just to blend. Stir in 1/2 cup flour, cheese, and parsley.
  • Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Using teaspoon, scoop piece of dough about size of cherry. Holding spoon just above boiling water, use second spoon to push dough into water. Working quickly, repeat about 10 more times. When dumplings rise to surface, simmer until cooked through, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer dumplings to large plate. Repeat with remaining dough.
  • Melt 3 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium heat. Working in 2 batches, add dumplings to skillet. Cook until brown in spots, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  • Bring soup to simmer. Divide dumplings among wide shallow bowls. Divide soup among bowls and serve.

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