Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Soup with Dumplings

Last night, as Hurricane Sandy blew through New York and threatened the Maine coast, I was trying to cook soup before the power went out. I wanted to have something on hand that I could heat quickly outside on the propane stove if we lost our power, so I rustled through the fridge and cupboard and gathered a bunch of filling ingredients. Lucky for us, the power did not go out and we were able to have the soup tonight, cooked right in the kitchen. Originally this was just a hodge-podge soup, but when I went to heat it up for tonight, I thought I should add something special to it, to celebrate making it through the Hurricane. We were blessed here in Maine, unlike our friends and family in New York City, who are still without power.

This soup is really open to interpretation when it comes to the vegetables, but the combination here made for a delicious, rooty soup that stuck to our bones and warmed our bellies. The dumplings were a first for me - I have not only never cooked them, but I haven't eaten them since I was a child. I'm not sure why, but I always had an inversion to the mere thought of dumplings. Boy am I glad that I pushed myself past that and whipped up these bad boys tonight. What a perfect addition to any soup. I would strongly suggest cooking this soup, then letting it sit for a day. I didn't strain the fat from cooking the beef, so after sitting in my fridge all day, there was a thin layer of fat over the top. I stirred this back in and it made for a delicious, thick and hearty soup.

Hurricane Soup
serves 4

1T safflower oil
1/4 C onion, chopped
2 T garlic, chopped
1 lb ground beef
2 bulbs fennel, sliced
1 C carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 1/2 C black beans (I cooked mine the day before from dried beans, but you just use a can of black beans)
2 C spinach, chopped
1/2 C groats
6 C stock
1/2 C coffee
2 T dried Italian seasoning mix (parsley, oregano, etc.)
salt & pepper

In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat and saute onions and garlic until garlic starts to brown. Add in ground beef and cook until brown all the way through - do not strain soup, keep the fat in there. Stir in fennel and cook 2 minutes. Pour in stock and coffee, toss in carrots and raise heat to medium high, gently bringing to a boil. Once it boils, drop it down to a medium low. Cook until carrots are tender, but not cooked through, just about 5 minutes. Add in groats and cook for 20 minutes until they are soft. Add in Italian seasonings, salt and pepper and black beans. If you are eating this tonight, cook for 5 minutes, then add spinach and cook for another 5 minutes. Drop in dumplings (recipe to follow), and cook, partly covered, at a  gentle boil, for 20 minutes. If you are not serving tonight, do not add spinach, but cover soup and put in the fridge. When you pull it out to cook, warm pot of soup over medium low heat until warm. Add the spinach and cook 5 minutes, then drop in dumplings as stated above.

(makes 10 golf ball sized)

1 C wheat flour
1/2 t salt
2 t baking powder
T butter
1/2 C milk
2 T Italian Seasoning
1/4 C shredded cheese

In a bowl mix together flour, salt, baking powder and Italian seasoning. Cut in butter, and then toss in cheese. Add milk and mix thoroughly. Roll into balls and drop in gently boiling soup. Loosely cover the pot and simmer soup with dumplings for 20 minutes.

No comments:

Post a Comment