A simplified springtime spin on traditional chicken and dumpling soup made with fresh chives, young carrots, turnips, and radishes. This post was created in partnership with Farmer Focus.
The mounds of fresh vegetables that used to define my cooking feel distant now that we are firmly in the world of making do with what we have. But treats are important too, right? So on a recent grocery run, I grabbed all the spring things I could find: tender carrots, radishes, and chives, plus a few basics like storage turnips, celery, and onions to round my flavors out.
\My mission was to create a chicken and dumpling soup that was every bit as comforting and hearty as the traditional version, but with the added vibrancy of spring ingredients. Easy-to-make, fluffy dumplings flecked with chives are the star of the dish, but underneath, you’ll find a rich broth studded with spring vegetables and tender bits of chicken.
Traditional chicken and dumpling soup often relies on rendered chicken fat and slow cooked chicken for the flavor base. I wanted to create a recipe that was every bit as delicious, but a bit simpler. The first step was to make use of a chicken cut that many of us have on hand right now: skinless, boneless chicken breasts.
At the start of our social distancing, I was grateful to have received a shipment of skinless, boneless breasts from Farmer Focus. Their chicken is always incredibly fresh and the flavor is incomparable. Each package is marked with a farm ID, so you can look up the farm where your chicken was raised. Just like the name says, Farmer Focus chicken centers their farmer partners and the chickens they raise – and they have the bonafides to back it up. It’s USDA Certified Organic, Certified Humane, Non-GMO Project Verified, and has a Global Animal Partnership (GAP) Step 3 rating. I’m so glad to be a part of the Farmer Focus family and appreciate that in a time of so many unknowns, Farmer Focus is dedicated to its farmers and the quality chicken they produce.
Farmer Focus is widely available both at brick and mortar stores and grocery delivery services like Fresh Direct. Find a store near you right here.
A simplified springtime spin on traditional chicken and dumpling soup made with fresh chives, young carrots, turnips, and radishes.
If you find yourself without spring vegetables on hand, storage carrots and celery can be used in their place. The recipe also calls for buttermilk, though milk with a hint of vinegar can be subbed. Finally, use whatever fresh herbs you can find – parsley, thyme, wild chives, ramps, green garlic, or green onions would all be delicious.
- 2 Farmer Focus skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- Sea salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled, and minced
- 3 celery ribs, diced
- 3 young carrots, preferably with greens attached, scrubbed with greens trimmed, diced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 young carrots, preferably with greens attached, scrubbed with greens trimmed, halved lengthwise and cut into 3-inch segments
- 8 small radishes, greens trimmed, halved or quartered
- 1 medium turnip, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick wedges
- 1/4 cup fresh chives, thyme, or parsley, minced, divided
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons minced chives, thyme, or parsley
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons milk and one tablespoon apple cider or other vinegar)
- 1 egg
Season chicken breasts on both sides with sea salt and pepper.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 4-quart Dutch oven or other heavy bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add chicken breast and sear 5 minutes, flip, and set lid slightly askew. Cook 5 - 7 minutes more or until chicken is just springy to the touch. Remove chicken to a rimmed plate and set aside. Shred or slice when cool.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the same pot. Add onion and sauté until translucent, 5 - 7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Stir in celery and diced carrots. Stirring often, cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour. Slowly stir in 4 cups broth, adding 1/2 cup at a time. Add carrot segments, radishes, turnips, shredded chicken, and 2 tablespoons fresh herbs. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare dumpling dough. In a medium bowl, use a fork to combine flour, baking powder, and sea salt. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine buttermilk, egg, and butter. Fold wet ingredients into the dry, along with the herbs, mixing just until combined.
Using 2 spoons, dollop dough in half dollar-size rounds over the surface of the soup. Cover and cook soup 20 minutes (still at a gentle simmer), or until dumplings are puffed up and cooked through (you can slice a dumpling in half to make sure it's done).
Ladle into soup bowls, garnish with remaining herbs, and serve immediately.
Soup can be reheated, covered, over medium-low heat.