When the winds are blowing and my house might lose power, I make chicken and dumplings in my stockpot.
Even when the storm is Hurricane Sandy, clear across the country.
I make chicken and dumplings.
Because soup is hot and wet, filling, comforting, a way of saying that all will be ok.
Although Hurricane Sandy is no where near where I live now, in the far left corner of the United States, my heart and hometown are in New Jersey.
Nestled in a tiny town on the banks of the Tenakill, known for it’s ball fields and willow trees.
Where my brother and his family still live and work.
Where the guys serve as first responders for disasters like fire, car accidents and floods.
Sandy has them incredibly busy. I just found out that my brother hasn’t slept since Sunday night (that’s 3 days and counting).
Although I know the guys are fine, I still wish I could help just a bit. Especially since my nephews are students who do this as a volunteer activity.
Yeah, I know I come from a long line of heros.
I sent a donation to the American Red Cross so they can help those who had trees crush their homes and cars. Please help by sending a donation too. Even a few dollars can make a difference, they really don’t need the work of sorting donations of food or supplies. Let the experts decide what they need and then purchase it.
If I were still living in Brooklyn, I could look through this list of places to help and get working.
For right now though, that would mean a plane flight to an airport that isn’t functioning and being put up in a house that is already housing a family flooded out of theirs. So I anxiously watch the Google Crisis Map, watch the storm track over multiple family members and worry for all of their safety.
When I get anxious, I cook. Somehow life is just a bit more controlled when I know that my family will be fed.
This recipe is the perfect antidote to cold wet weather. Feel free to use whatever vegetables you have in your home for the soup. It is all good.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 turnip or rutabaga
- 2 parsnips
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 4 Carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 large onion
- 1 zucchini
- ½ head of cauliflower
- Meat from one chicken- pulled off the bones or 3 cups chicken meat in cubes
- ½ cup frozen corn
- ¼ cup frozen peas
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary- minced
- 2 cloves garlic- minced
- 6 peppercorns
- salt to taste
- 2 quarts chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1 bunch fresh spinach
- Wash all the vegetables.
- Peel any you feel have tough skins
- Cut all the firm vegetables in ¼ inch dice, keeping each one separate
- Clean the spinach
- slice into shreds or smallish pieces.
- In large stock pot, heat the oil over medium high heat.
- Add each vegetable starting with the hardest one.
- Typically, I put in the sweet potato, carrot, turnip, parsnip and let them cook for 5 minutes
- Then the carrots, celery, onion.
- If you are using raw chicken, add it now
- Cook another 5 minutes or till the vegetables have softened and have a bit of browned edges.
- Then add the zucchini and cauliflower.
- If you are using cooked chicken, add it now.
- Cook another minute.
- Add the broth and bring the soup to a boil
- Stir in the rosemary, garlic, pepper and salt.
- Stir in the frozen corn and peas.
- Return soup to the boil
- Add Dumpling Batter to the soup in tablespoon sized dollops.
- Cover pan and allow to cook undisturbed for 9 minutes.
- Check with a toothpick to make sure the middles are firm the toothpick should be clean.
- Serve, placing a bit of the fresh spinach into the bowl before serving the soup