Mom’s soup, Grandma’s cookies; those recipes that bring vivid memories of loved ones rushing to the surface the moment you smell the aroma of them cooking.
We all have them, and for me *THE* recipe that warms my heart is my mom’s hearty chicken and dumpling soup. It’s a balanced meal all in one pot and the flavor is savory perfection! We’re talking all the good stuff – home simmered chicken broth, carrots, onions, celery, tender morsels of chicken and (the best part) scrumptious dumplings that warm the heart! I’m telling you, you are going to LOVE it!
We are so excited to be partnering with BYUtv and Relative Race to bring you this family recipe.
What is Relative Race? Relative Race is a reality television show/competition all about family. Here is how it works: four teams race to a final destination on a 10-day road trip, competing in challenges along the way, navigating without GPS (paper maps only – I know!), and as they go, they discover unknown relatives. During these discoveries, they often share a meal with their new-found relatives and connect over dinner. Is there a better way to connect than over a meal? At the end of the show, one team wins $50,000 but I think connecting with unknown family members makes them all winners, don’t you? I love discovering more and more about my heritage and the amazing men and women who paved the way for me.
Your family is going to LOVE Relative Race!
This show is so much fun and I LOVE that you can grab the WHOLE family to watch it together without worrying about content. It is super family friendly! Hurry and catch up with episode 2 which just aired last Sunday (watch it HERE) so you will be ready for Episode 3 airing this Sunday March 19, 2017, at 7 PM MT. You can watch it on the BYUtv apps (Roku, Android, iOS, Apple TV, etc.,) or stream it at www.BYUtv.org. Just imagine all of the yummy family recipes they could discover?! Yes, I’ve always got food on the brain.
We have partnered with BYUtv and Relative Race for an awesome giveaway!! YES!
You can Enter for a Chance to Win:
A gorgeous Le Creuset 1-qt Dutch Oven or 3.5-qt Dutch Oven, (total approx. value, $200) as well as a Relative Race travel kit including an Instax camera, road trip handbook, water bottle, t-shirt, Visa $25 gift card, and more. Talk about SWAG! The entries are SUPER easy!
Ok, on with the recipe!…
My mom worked almost full time (side by side with my dad) ever since I can remember – a physically demanding job that often left her feeling exhausted, but all in the name of providing a good life for her children. But even with her employment, she was the homemaking queen and spent countless hours sewing our clothing, keeping an immaculate house, looking put together (always), and whipping up one outstanding home-cooked meal after another. Did I mention she has 7 children?
She is my hero!
I believe she must have discovered some magic secret to adding more hours in a day, because I can’t for the life of me seem to accomplish as much with even a shred of the grace she displayed!
Her parents came to Canada from Hungary and they passed on lots of tricks for being good with money to my mom and her sisters. In turn, my mom is an example of frugality to her family. She rarely lets anything go to waste. I came to love roasted chicken dinners because I knew she would be saving the bones to make her delicious chicken and dumpling soup the next day. She could make a grocery budget stretch like it was made out of rubber. This soup is just one way she made great use out of leftovers and still provided a nutritious and delicious meal for us.
I can still smell the aroma!
I can’t even describe the sensation of walking up to the back door of the house after school and already smelling the aroma of the broth wafting through the air. It gave me such a thrill! I get the same thrill every time I make it, and it brings a huge smile to my face, now, seeing my own children’s eyes light up when they walk through the door as the soup is simmering on the stove. It feels like I’m passing on something of greater importance than just a soup recipe. This is a part of my mother, a part of me, and now a part of them. And isn’t passing on traditions an important part of family relationships? It’s like a flaxen cord, tying the generations together.
Let’s get to it, and make this delicious soup!
What you’ll need:
For the stock (can use boxed stock, but WHY?!):
- Chicken carcass (the leftover bones from a roasted chicken – can also use turkey bones)
- One medium-large onion, cut into chunks (can leave peel on)
- 2-3 large carrots, cut into chunks
- 2-3 stalks celery cut into chunks (include leaves for more flavor)
- 3-4 whole cloves garlic
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 bunch parsley stems
- poultry seasoning or fresh poultry herbs (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Water (about 6-8 cups)
- 5 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
6-8 cups chicken stock
- 2-3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1-2 stalks celery, sliced
- 1-2 cups cooked chicken, diced (use the meat left over from the roast chicken)
- dumpling dough
- In a large stock pot add the water, chicken carcass, herbs, and veggies – all roughly chopped in large chunks. Feel free to leave the onion peel on (it helps add color to the stock). If you prefer a vegetarian stock, just omit the chicken. Easy peasy!
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 3-4 hours. It’s a good idea to taste periodically so you know when the flavor is at it’s best. You guys, the aroma when this is simmering is OUT of this world!!
- Pour the liquid through a mesh strainer into a large pot and discard the rest. You’ve got your amazing chicken stock – from scratch! Seriously delicious and filled with all of those nutrients your body is going to love you for.
4. This dough is very similar to a pasta dough, except it uses less flour. You are going to first sift your flour and salt into a medium-large bowl.
5. Add the eggs and mix well – you can mix by hand, or I use a mixer with a dough hook. Set it aside.
6. In a large stock pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil, then reduce heat to medium/low.
7. Dice your veggies (carrots and celery – can also add onion if you’d like) and add them to the simmering stock.
8. Dice the leftover cooked chicken and add to the simmering stock.
9. Using a spoon, drop small spoonfuls of the dumpling dough into the simmering stock. Remember to make these dumplings small as they puff up a little in the soup. Once they are cooked, they will pop to the top of the soup. Finish adding the entire bowl of dumpling dough, one spoonful at a time. If you have kids, this is a great way to have them help. My kids love dropping dumplings into the soup!
10. Let it cool slightly and serve!
I don’t usually get too personal with my recipes, but I can’t share this one without paying homage to the woman who inspired me to develop my talents, aim high, and work hard. Food was one of the many ways she demonstrated her love for us. Soups like this one (which, I won’t lie, take a little time to make) said more to us kids than a love letter could have. We connected over meals and we still do! I can’t eat this without thinking of my mom, and am reminded of the connections that happen around our favorite recipes. Family relationships are truly one of the few things that can last.
Do you have a special family recipe that brings back special memories from childhood? How do you connect with relatives? I’d love to hear from you!