I hate to waste food so I try to stay on top of what is in the fridge and make sure it gets used up before it gets thrown out. It makes for some interesting meals. Lately Monday seems to be ‘clean out the fridge’ day. After taking into consideration what was in the fridge and the weather, I decided on soup for dinner. Soup is one of the best ways for using up leftovers since you can put just about anything in the pot and still have it come out tasting great regardless of your cooking skills.
If you are the type of person who needs precise recipes, you probably want to stop reading this now and go elsewhere. I’m not that good at measuring and my recipes (if you can call them recipes) are loosely defined at best. For as much as I cook, I could never write a cookbook for this reason alone. About the only time I take care with measuring is when making soap. I’ve learned the hard way that soap is not as forgiving, pretty much everything else that comes out the kitchen is, fortunately.
In cleaning out the fridge I found half an onion and yellow bell pepper, chicken stock, cabbage, a few old carrots, some leftover rice and a whole chicken that I roasted on Sunday. It was a toss up between soup and fried rice, but with the chilly fall weather I was in the mood for soup. I checked the freezer and found a jar of potato and corn chowder that was leftover from a previous meal and figured that would work well as a base. I was going to make biscuits to go with the soup, but time was an obstacle so I decided dumplings would work just as well. Overall it was a great meal and very filling. The recipe below made enough for two for dinner and leftovers for lunch; you can easily double it for a larger pot.
Chicken Dumpling Soup
- Half onion and bell pepper diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 2 cups potato/corn chowder
- chopped cabbage (about 2 cups?)
- quart chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups diced chicken
Since you probably don’t have the leftover chowder in your freezer, I would recommend leftover mashed potatoes or some diced potatoes instead.
Add onion, pepper, carrot and diced potato (if using) to a large pot with a couple of tablespoons of butter or olive oil and cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are softened. Add stock, chowder (or mashed potato), cabbage, and chicken and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. If you used diced potatoes, you may want to cook it a bit longer until the potatoes are softened. While simmering make the dumplings to add to the soup. After the dumplings are added, cook for about 7 to 8 minutes longer until all the dumplings are cooked through.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (you can substitute milk for the cream)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
In a bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Add milk, cream and butter to flour mix and stir until just combined. If it is too dry to come together, add a bit more milk and knead into a dough. Break off small pieces of dough and drop into simmering soup.