Remember how I told you how much I love Martha Stewart's Everyday Food? Well, there is a reason. I have actually liked every single thing I have made from this little magazine. Everything. That is pretty impressive. Sure, some I like more than others, but I would be willing to eat every single one again.
This soup is no different. Here is the thing: This soup was not like wow-so-amazing good, but it definitely ahhh-I-am-satisfied-with-life good. I guess that's what the name suggests, right? Down home soup. When I think of being "down home" I think of peace, comfort, and warmth. This soup fits right into that. And I even got to steal some lemons from the neighbors to make it happen. I have been waiting for a chance to steal the lemons. They just look so good... (And as you will notice, the lemons are hanging over the fence. I figure if they are on my side, they are fair game.)
I didn't do what Martha suggested and make my own soup broth. I just pulled some bullion out of the cupboard. And as for the shredded chicken, I just grabbed some pre-cooked chicken pieces out of the refrigerator section at Trader Joe's -- Parmesan Caesar style. I read a review that this soup was bland, but not the way I cooked it. No sirree. Besides, anything with lemon tastes better, right?
And then I made dumplings. From scratch. Not from the Bisquick box. Yeah, yeah, I know... that may not be a big deal for you, but it was my first time. I remember a little less than a year ago I made dumplings for the first time with the Bisquick and I felt amazing. And now from scratch, well, I guess you can say I am moving on up in the world.
Little side note -- I didn't have buttermilk. However, a Google search allowed me to figure out that if you take regular mix (1 cup) and let a teaspoon of vinegar sit in it for five minutes, you get a buttermilk substitute. So not only can I now make dumplings, but I can make buttermilk-substitute, too. I am a smarty-pants, I tell ya.
Recipe from Everyday Food by Martha Stewart, Jan/Feb 2012
- 10 cups broth
- 4 cups shredded chicken
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 ounce baby spinach, roughly chopped (1 cup)
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- In a large pot, bring broth to a simmer over medium-high. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. With a fork, stir in buttermilk and spinach to form a dough.
- Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls on top of simmering broth. Cover and cook until dumplings are cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. Gently stir in chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook until chicken is warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.