It seems to me every soup recipe in Around My French Table ends up getting the puree treatment. I enjoy the creamlessly creamy sip obviously but the cooking technique is all the same. Where are the challenges? What about surprises? If you answer “garnish”, well, you get my nod of agreement. Greenspan offered lots of garnish suggestions in her cookbook including swirls of crème fraiche, pesto, croutons, toasted nuts, or finely chopped vegetable. All very elegant and very French.
Lately, I am not in the mood for elegance. I want something hearty but not fattening. I want my meal to look rustic without all the fuss. When I saw herb dumplings featured in soup week at The Kitchn, my heart skipped a beat. This is a great play on chicken and dumpling. I had to try it with Spur-of-the-Moment Vegetable Soup we’re making this week at French Fridays with Dorie.
My version of the vegetable soup is a mix of carrot, sweet red pepper, new potato, onion, garlic, and fresh ginger. I love how the little knob of ginger adds a kick of warmth to the sweetness. But the herb dumplings (recipe here) really steal the show. I made mine with chopped fresh dill and sage. They are impossibly light and pillowy. They soak up the soup and contribute a breath of herbal freshness at the same time. The lean soup quickly morphs into a complete meal with dumplings floating lazily around.
One word of caution. Don’t be greedy when you drop the dough into the soup! As you can see in the photos, the blobs of gumball size uncooked dough expanded to little golf balls. That explains why they are so tender and airy.
The soup recipe is very flexible. Take a look at other bloggers’ interpretation of stone soup over at French Fridays with Dorie. I’m sure you can find a few ideas for you next batch!