It’s been snowing outside for the last couple of days – big, fluffy, Hollywood-perfect snowflakes. It snowed eight inches here overnight. This is the most snowfall we’ve gotten at one time this winter and let me just say, it’s about time!
I love winter. Not necessarily the parts where it’s too cold to snow and your nostrils freeze with every inhale. But the parts of winter where you have beautiful snowfalls like this one and warm, crackling wood fires, and cozy meals to warm your soul. Those moments make my heart smile.
It is definitely soup weather.
This chicken soup recipe has been in my family for years. My family keeps this soup very simple – using chicken parts with skin and keeping everything on the bone (we eat our soup with a spoon AND a fork for this very reason) and keeping the seasonings very mild, adding salt to our individual bowls to meet each of our needs. This is my version of their recipe. If I have stock on hand, I use low-fat chicken breast meat, plenty of seasonings and boost the nutritional content by adding spinach to the dumplings. Tne thing that hasn’t changed (and will never change) is the addition of allspice. Polish people love their allspice, and this soup isn’t any different. In my humble Pollock opinion, the allspice makes this soup!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. Stay warm out there!
Fresh parsley or celery leaves, chopped, for garnish
Mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder for the dumplings in a medium sized bowl. Add the spinach and eggs and combine. Slowly add the cream and mix until the dough is moist (you may or may not use all of the 1/4 cup of liquid). Set aside.
In a large stockpot, saute the onions in the olive oil over medium heat. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the celery and carrots. Cook for 3 more minutes, then add the chicken broth, seasonings and salt and pepper. Place the bay leaves and whole allspice into a teaball or cheese cloth and add them to the pot as well. Add the chicken breasts, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and set it aside.
Remove the bay leaves and allspice. Taste the broth and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring the broth to a low boil and drop your dough into the broth by heaping teaspoonfuls. Do this as quick as possible so your dumplings will cook evenly. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 8 more minutes.
While the dumplings are cooking, shred the chicken breasts with two forks. When the dumplings are cooked (they will puff up and float to the top of your soup), remove the pot from the heat and add the shredded chicken. Mix and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving. The soup will be VERY hot! Garnish and serve.