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Monday, 5 November 2012

Sage dumplings... mmm

Using the leftover chicken from Sunday - I made SIX portions of soup. The chill in the air seemed a great excuse to make some mini sage dumplings.
Once again I added some pearl barley to my soup, but... I cooked this for half the time stated on the packet (in a separate pan), then rinsed in cold water before adding to the soup about 10-15 mins before it was finished. The pearl barley still had some bite to it, which was nice and it added extra texture to the soup. Nothing worse than pearl barley that's been overcooked.
To make the chicken soup
we boiled the chicken carcass then simmered with some carrot, onion, celery, garlic and herbs. I was able to extract one litre of stock to which I added one litre of water. After straining the stock, I discarded the stock vegetables and added some fresh chopped vegetables (i.e. carrot, leek, onion, potato, celery, parsnip etc) and cooked for around half an hour. I blended around a quarter of the soup this time, as it helps thicken without the need to add flour. I then added in the partly cooked pearl barley (from 25g of dried barley), some frozen peas and the chopped chicken. Last but not least I added the mini sage dumplings. Boiled then simmered for another 15 mins. Don't forget to season with salt and pepper at various stages throughout cooking, tasting as you go.
For the sage dumplings, I opened a packet of beef suet (called Atora here) and followed the instructions for dumplings (which is always on the pack) - but today I added some chopped fresh sage (dried herbs would be just as nice). They were delicious and fragrant, and added a little touch of luxury to a very flavoursome humble chicken soup.
A great start to the week. Served with a couple of slices of ciabatta topped with Gruyere. Very filling, very warming and all the hard work has now been done. I've refrigerated the rest of the soup and tomorrow all I have to do is heat  it up!

If you would like to know more about how we have achieved over 6.5 stone weight loss eating all this wonderful food - see OUR IDEA

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