Magazine article Sunset

Soup's On: Hearty, Seasonal Bowls Take the Chill off in Winter

Magazine article Sunset

Soup's On: Hearty, Seasonal Bowls Take the Chill off in Winter

Article excerpt

Steaming bowls of soup--brothy stews or creamy purees--are truly family meals. They're easy to make and create a sense of shared warmth. It's what we cook for loved ones when they're feeling under the weather, and it's what we want on a chilly January afternoon to warm the house (and ourselves) with the scent and taste of something good.


Our great winter recipes use the undersung root vegetables of the season--carrots and potatoes--for their earthy flavors and hearty textures. Whether it's rich chicken with dumplings to chase the sniffles away or zesty carrot, we've got it covered.

Chicken and Potato Soup with Dumplings

PREP AND COOK TIME: About 1 1/4 hours

MAKES: 2 1/2 quarts; 6 to 8 servings

NOTES: Use a wide pan in order to have adequate surface area to make the dumplings. You can make the soup through step 4 up to 1 day ahead if you like; cover it airtight and chill. Before serving, bring it to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, then proceed with making the dumplings (steps 5 and 6).

    4 skinned chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lb. total), rinsed
    2 quarts fat-skimmed low-sodium chicken broth
    5 fresh sage leaves, rinsed
    2 leeks (1 lb. total)
    5 russet potatoes (about 2 1/2 lb.), peeled and diced
    2 stalks celery (about 4 oz.), rinsed, trimmed, and diced
    2 carrots (about 6 oz.), peeled and diced
    1 cup all-purpose flour
  1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  1/3 cup milk
    1 large egg plus 1 large egg white, beaten lightly together to
    2 tablespoons melted butter

1. In a 6- to 8-quart pan over high heat, bring chicken, broth, and whole sage leaves to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, skimming off and discarding any foam that rises to the surface, until chicken is no longer pink at bone (cut to test), about 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cut off and discard root ends and dark green tops from leeks. Cut white and pale green parts in half lengthwise and rinse well under running water, flipping layers to release grit. Thinly slice leeks crosswise.

3. Lift chicken from broth. When cool enough to handle, pull meat into shreds (discard bones).

4. Add potatoes, celery, carrots, leeks, and 2 cups water to pan with broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender when pierced, 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in shredded chicken.

5. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and the chopped sage. Stir in milk, beaten egg and egg white, and the melted butter just until combined. …

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