chicken dumpling soup

I think Fall may have officially arrived! (See? I said I’d embrace it eventually.)  When we had that first officially brisk day, I could only think of one thing: soup. Nothing better in cool weather.  As if by magic, I caught a rerun of one my most favorite little cooking shows, and on it was this chicken dumpling soup.  As an aside, that show is Rachel Khoo’s The Little Paris Kitchen on BBC (Cooking Channel shows it here in the US, too)–it’s fabulous, she’s fabulous, and I think the whole thing is just charming and great.  The food is simple and yummy, and I want her cookbook quite badly.  Pretty much, I want to be her.

Anyway, girl crush aside: this soup.  It’s super basic, but what makes it really yummy are the dumplings.  I’d never made anything quite like them before.  (Actually, I don’t really think I’d ever put chicken breasts into a blender before…) But, they come together quickly and are so light and delicious.  Plus they make the soup kind of special!  And they’re easy to do ahead of time–I made the dumplings the night before so I could just put together the rest of the soup easily the next evening after work.  This is a slight variation on the original recipe–she also adds mushrooms so feel free if you’re a fan.

Step 1 IMG_2850

Starts with a mirepoix–chopped celery, carrots, and onion, sautéing in a bit of olive oil and butter

Step 2

The dumplings–they might look a bit strange at first but they’re delicious

Chicken broth and the dumplings are added to the sautéed veggies

Chicken broth and the dumplings are added to the sautéed veggies

Step 4 IMG_2866

Served with chopped parsley or cilantro

And eaten on the porch with white wine

And eaten in the cool outside air with white wine

And perhaps the evening will turn into a lovely one with candles, wine, and a long talk on the porch

And perhaps the evening will turn into a lovely one with candles, wine, and a long talk on the porch

chicken dumpling soup (boillon de poulet avec des quenelles de volailles)

dumplings (quenelles)

  • 8oz chicken breast
  • 4-5 slice of white bread, crusts removed and torn
  • 6 1/2 T heavy cream
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 t salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg

Place all the above ingredients into a food processor or blender.  Blend until they form a paste.  Shape the dumplings into a medium-sized, football-like shape using two spoons.  This video (also above) shows the easiest way to do this, but you basically just enough to fit in the spoon, and then pass the mixture back and forth between the two spoons until you have a dumpling shape that looks like the photo above.  This is the easiest way to shape these, since they are much too sticky to use your hands.


  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 6 c chicken stock
  • Parsley or cilantro, chopped (or another herb that sounds good to you)

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium-high heat (I used a large cast iron dutch oven).  Add the chopped carrots, celery, and onion, and sauté until the onion begins to soften (5-10min).  Pour the chicken broth into the bot, and bring to a boil.  Gently add the dumplings to the pot, and simmer until they are cooked through (3-5min).  The dumplings will float to the top when they are done, and you can also cut one in half to check it.  If all the dumplings are approximately the same size, they should cook evenly.

Serve with chopped parsley or cilantro on top. Be cozy!


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