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Chicken Soup With Dumplings

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1-1.5kg/2¼ -3¼lb chicken, cut into portions
2-3 onions
3-4 litres/5-7 pints/12-16 cups water
3-5 carrots, thickly sliced
3-5 celery sticks, thickly sliced
1 small parsnip, cut in half
30-45ml/2-3 tbsp roughly chopped fresh parsley
30-45ml/2-3 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1-2 pinches ground turmeric
2 chicken stock (bouillon) cubes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (optional)
Salt and ground black pepper

For the dumplings

175g/6oz/¾ cup medium matzo meal
2 eggs, lightly beaten
45ml/3 tbsp vegetable oil or rendered chicken fat
1 garlic clove, finely chopped (optional)
30ml/2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus extra to garnish
½ onion, finely grated
1-2 pinches of chicken stock (bouillon) cube or powder (optional)
About 90ml/6 tbsp water
Salt and ground black pepper


Serves: 8


1. Put the chicken in a very large pan. Keeping them whole, cut a large cross in the stem end of each onion and add to the pan with the water, carrots, celery, parsnip, parsley, half the dill, the turmeric, and salt and black pepper.

2. Cover the pan and bring to the boil, then immediately lower the heat so that the liquid just simmers. Skim the soup and discard the scum that rises to the top. (Scum will continue to form but it is only the first scum that rises that will detract from the clarity and flavour of the soup.)

3. Add the crumbled stock cubes and simmer for 2-3 hours. When the chicken is cooked and the soup is well flavoured, remove the chicken pieces, and skim off the fat from the liquid surface. Alternatively, chill the soup and remove the layer of solid fat that forms.

4. To make the dumplings, in a large bowl combine the matzo meal with the eggs, oil or fat, chopped garlic, if using, parsley, onion, salt and pepper. Add only a little chicken stock cube or powder, if using, as these are salty. Add the water and mix together until the mixture is of the consistency of a thick, soft paste.

5. Cover the matzo batter and chill for 30 minutes, during which time the mixture will become firm.

6. Bring a pan of water to the boil and have a bowl of water next to the stove. Dip two tablespoons into the water, then take a spoonful of the matzo batter. With wet hands, roll it into a ball, then slip it into the boiling water and reduce the heat so that the water simmers. Continue with the remaining matzo batter, working relatively quickly, then cover the pan and cook for 15-20 minutes.

7. Remove the dumplings from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate for about 20 minutes to firm up.

8. To serve, reheat the soup, adding the remaining dill and the garlic, if using. Put two to three dumplings in each bowl, pour over the hot soup and garnish.

VARIATIONS:- Instead of dumplings, the soup can be served over rice or noodles.

To make lighter dumplings, separate the eggs and add the yolks to the matzo mixture. Whisk the whites until stiff then fold into the mixture.

Energy 449Kcal/1866kj; Protein 27.4g; Carbohydrate 30g, of which sugars 6.2g; Fat 24.3g, of which saturates 5.4g; Cholesterol 186mg; Calcium 58mg; Fibre 2.9g; Sodium 399mg

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