Thursday, September 22, 2011

Turkey Soup with Dumplings and Meatballs

Savory-spiced ground chicken (or turkey) meatballs add depth to this rich soup.
Celery leaves make a great garnish for just about anything
and are usually on hand more so than fresh parsley.

This recipe has a few "twists." First, I no longer use "diced chicken or turkey" when I make turkey or chicken soup. I use ground chicken that I make into tiny meatballs, even for turkey soup. They add a ton more flavor and it's easy to incorporate spices into the mixture.

Where I live in the South, it's difficult to find good noodles. I have no idea why. And it's almost impossible to find broad flat noodles--they're twisted which I find, well, twisted. What's up with that? I bought some frozen "dumplings" that were already rolled out, but they were tasteless and I ended up tossing the box into the garbage.

In the Midwest I had access to Amish noodles or frozen Kluski noodles, all made with egg yolks and wonderfully fluffly. If you have access to them, by all means use them. But now, I just make my own. It's actually simple, especially if you have a mini-food processor. If you don't want noodles at all, sub in some rice. I whole-heartedly recommend Ream's Frozen Egg Noodles. Most grocery stores now carry them. 

Noodle. Dumpling. What's the difference? To me, these are "flat dumplings." They are made with egg, rolled out, and tend to puff up just a bit, unlike a noodle, as they absorb the stock. 

Speaking of stock--

For this recipe, it's important to use homemade. Either turkey or chicken will work. Canned does not cut it. 

When I first made this soup and gave it to friends, they all said they "wanted more." Trust me, it's those little meatballs and the homemade stock. Enjoy.

  • 6-8 cups homemade turkey stock: Kitchen Bounty: Turkey Broth
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced celery (less rather than more)
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Dumplings/Noodles the amount according to your preference

  • 1 cup ground chicken (or turkey)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried savory
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 4-6 tablespoons tepid water
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 egg yolks

Bring your turkey stock to a simmer and add carrots and celery. Taste for salt.

In a small bowl, mix together the ground chicken, savory, onion and garlic powder, parsley, salt and pepper. Be sure to mix really well. Set aside.

It's important to mix the spices well.

Place the flour, salt, and baking powder in a mini food processor. Pulse. Add egg yolks and olive oil. Pulse. With top on and motor running, begin dribbling in the water, pulsing backwards if necessary. When dough comes together as a mass and leaves the sides of machine, it's done. Remove from processor and knead one or two times. Cover with cloth and allow to rest 30 minutes.

Using the small end of a melon baller, scoop chicken mixture and add to turkey stock. It's not necessary to make them into a perfect "ball" shape. They will float to the top as you add them. As they cook, they will yield their flavor to the stock.I a

Ground chicken gives a lot more flavor to your soup that diced
chicken or turkey.

After 30 minutes of resting, cut the dough ball in half and roll on a floured surface. Roll to about the thickness of poster board or thin cardboard.

You may cut the dough any way you like. Sometimes I cut it into small squares. Sometimes I use a cake-decorator tip and cut out circles. I like small "dumplings" or noodles that fit on a spoon.

If making circles or other shapes, re-roll scraps of dough and then proceed with other half. Place dumplings into simmering soup. 

Bring to a nice simmer, not a boil. I tend to avoid "boiling" soups. Cover. Simmer for ten minutes. Lower to a slow simmer and taste for salt and pepper. Add butter. Cover and leave on low for 30 minutes or more. The dumplings will have "plumped" up a bit. The longer they sit in the soup, the better they will taste. 

Ladle into bowls. Garnish with celery leaves and, if desired, sprinkle with dill. I love it with dill.