So blogging + working + wedding planning + house building has been even more work than I thought. And unfortunately, blogging has fallen to the bottom of that priority list. But! That changes now. For this moment, anyways.
I actually made this soup a few weeks ago after Fiance and I watched yet another episode of Anthony Bourdain’s wonderful show Parts Unknown. He went to Paraguay, he ate this soup, and then I had to eat this soup, too. The soup is actually called Vori Vori soup, but for the purposes of everyone getting the gist things, I’ve dubbed it Paraguayan Chicken Soup with Dumplings.
It’s a pretty simple chicken soup, but with the addition of cheesy, fluffy dumplings. If you thought you liked chicken NOODLE soup……….. just you wait.
I’ve always got to give my usual spiel with any kind of chicken stock based soup: homemade chicken broth is so much better. Seriously. I know it’s a bit more effort, but I recently heard about a trend of saving chicken bones and scraps in a bag or tupperware container in the freezer, and then making stock once you have enough. That’s brilliant! And for reals, making your own stock can be as simple as throwing those bones and scraps into your crockpot with onions, celery, carrots, a bay leave, and some cloves. Let it cook for a good long while (up to 24 hours, even!) and you’ve got yourself an incredibly rich, flavorful stock. Homemade stock is an even bigger deal with this soup because it is so simple.
I like to make this soup after I’ve made a roasted chicken. Leftover meat and bones all ready to go, and I feel like I get a zillion meals from one inexpensive whole chicken. And feeling thrifty makes me feel like a real grownup.
This soup really couldn’t be easier to throw together: make your traditional chicken soup with the onion, celery, carrot, garlic start sautéed in a little butter; add the stock and simmer; and add the dumplings to puff up and cook through and the chicken to get nice and hot. Easy, peasy, and you’ll have leftovers that reheat super nice for the week!
Not to mention: dumplings!!! DUMPLINGS. Dumplings are wonderful doughy things, and in this case, cheesy too. Cheesy dumplings for all of the days.
For everyone still fighting off the last of winter chill (Not so much us here in Portland. Yes, I’m totally rubbing it in, east coast readers!) this soup will make you feel warm and happy. Especially when paired with a big glass of wine, a blanket, your couch, and several episodes of The Americans (<<< latest TV obsession and it is amazing!).
Side note: wedding planning is essentially done. Florist, check (wonderful, talented Swoon Floral Design). Catering, check (gonna leave this one a secret, but it may or may not include food trucks!). Incredible barn wood tables, check. 300+ person guest list……… check. Gulp. Five months from today, people!
Paraguayan Chicken Soup with Dumplings
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 carrots, diced (1/2 inch dice)
- 4 celery stalks, diced (1/2 inch dice)
- 7 cups homemade chicken stock
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken meat
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup crumbled ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- In a large stockpot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion starts to become translucent (5-7 minutes).
- Add the chicken stock, salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables have softened.
- While the veggies are cooking, start the dumplings. In a bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, and baking soda. Mix in the ricotta cheese and egg to form a lumpy, thick batter.
- After the vegetables have softened, drop tablespoonfuls of the dumpling batter into the soup. Cook until the dumplings float to the surface (about 5 minutes), then add the chicken and cook for an additional few minutes.
- Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.