Monday, February 1, 2010

Quick Vegetable Leek Soup with Dumplings

Vegetable Leek Soup with dumplings bread split

After a brief warm spell of mid 40’s here (trust me, that’s a heat wave here in the winter), the weather has once again turned bitterly cold and we are bundled up in thick socks and cozy blankets with the teakettle working overtime.

I have a stack of books that I’ve been meaning to get to, but as the day comes to a close and I can finally pick one up and start to read, I find myself nodding off and before you know it, the thud of the book hitting the floor wakes me up again. It’s no wonder that I usually choose magazines, they are much quieter upon impact.

I also have a box full of wood projects to work on. John and I have been scouring the antique stores and 2nd hand shops for wooden items that we transform into primitive items for the house.

Moose Update: For those interested....he seems to be getting a little better each day. I can’t tell you how many times a day we lift him up and down off the couch, or up and down the stairs, but it’s a lot, and that's ok cause we will do whatever we have to for Moose. He’s part of our family. It’s our job to help him out when he can’t help himself. So we’ve been trying to stay home as much as possible, combining necessary trips into one big trip so Moose can’t get into too much mischief while we’re gone. I enjoy being a homebody, especially during the winter, so it’s fine with me.

Ok back to soup. The colder it gets out, the more I want to make soup. I also love cooking up a batch and making and some homemade bread to go along with it. The perfect meal in my opinion. This Vegetable Leek soup is a recipe I adapted from combining a few existing recipes I had and making it my own. I used my go-to dumpling recipe from Cooks Illustrated. Don't forgot the dumpling rule: NO PEEKING. Once that cover is on, you leave it on, or you won't get perfect dumplings. Just close the lid, set the timer, walk away and when time's up, you will have light and fluffy dumplings. Now who doesn't want that?

Vegetable Leek Soup with dumplings

I love this soup because it's quick and easy and with a few fresh ingredients and the use of some frozen veggies it makes it a snap to throw together. Use up whatever veggies you have on hand to make this our own.

The bread you see is Super Quick Whole Wheat and Molasses Bread. Perfect with this soup. That recipe is coming up next.

Quick Vegetable Leek Soup with Dumplings.
Printable recipe
2 leeks, chopped, white parts only
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pkg baby portabella mushrooms, chopped
12 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 pkg (16oz) frozen mixed vegetable *see note
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon ground mustard
½ cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 tablespoons Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons chopped parsley (fresh if you can, if not add in a tablespoon of dried)
salt and pepper to taste

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Vegetable Leek Soup with dumplings bread CU

In a Dutch oven sauté the leeks in the oil until tender. Add in the mushroom and cook until softened. Add in the garlic and cook for just 30 seconds or so. Add the broth, frozen vegetables, mustard, Italian seasoning and parsley. Bring to a boil. Stir in the orzo and cannellini beans. Reduce the heat and simmer about 6 to 8 minutes or until heated through and the pasta is tender.

For the Dumplings: Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Microwave the milk and butter in a microwave-safe bowl on high until just warm (do not over-heat), about 1 minute. Stir the warmed milk mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until incorporated and smooth. Don't over mix!

Drop golf-ball-sized dumplings over the top of the soup, about 1/4 inch apart (you should have about 18 dumplings give or take). With the heat still on low, cover, and cook until the dumplings have doubled in size, 15 to 18 minutes. Remember don't lift the lid!!

*Note - I used half a bag of Trader Joe's Brittany Blend (haricot vert green beans, wax beans & baby carrots) and almost a whole bag of Trader Joe's Organic Foursome (white corn, sweet peas, julienned carrots, blue lake green beans).
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