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BRRR! Cold? Make Easy Turkey Dumpling Soup

With much of the country shivering from the polar vortex, today seems like a good day for an easy, nutritious, and delicious soup to help warm up. Turkey Dumpling Soup is full of vegetables, and the dumplings can't get much easier. They are simply Chinese dumplings that you can find in the freezer section of most grocery stores, Costco, or Trader Joes. I get them from Lotte, an Asian market, in giant bags. Choose whatever flavor of dumplings you like, but chicken or vegetable dumplings make good candidates for the soup. You actually can do some of the preparation for the soup early, if you like, which will make it even easier for a weeknight. Specifically, cook the turkey thighs in advance, let them cool, and then remove the meat from the bone and chop it. By "cook," I mean pop them in a pot with water and let them stew. You'll have wonderful soup broth, and once the broth cools, you can skim the fat, which will save on the calories. Once you have the meat and broth, the remainder of the soup cooks in under an hour. Although I call this "soup," it's a bit more like a stew--thick, rich, and hearty. It's a little like chicken pot pie, minus the crust. Go for it. It will warm up your insides and make the cold a little easier to bear. Oh, and the leftover soup makes great lunches later in the week. Can you use chicken meat and broth instead of turkey? Absolutely.

Easy Turkey Dumpling Soup

Easy Turkey Dumpling Soup -- Makes about 3 Quarts

2 large turkey thighs (2-3 pounds)

2 teaspoons of garlic powder, divided

2 tablespoons of dried parsley flakes, divided

3 teaspoons of poultry seasoning, divided

3 teaspoons of salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon of pepper

2-3 teaspoons of canola oil

2 onions, chopped

8 ounces of carrots chopped

3-4 ribs of celery, chopped

2-3 pounds of frozen Asian/Chinese dumplings -- whatever flavor you like

8 ounces of peas (optional)

In a large saucepan heat several quarts of water to boiling and add the turkey thighs, a teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of parsley flakes, 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Bring the pot back to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and let the turkey thighs cook until the meat is falling off the bone--an hour or two depending on the thighs. Let the meat and broth cool. Remove the meat from the bones and chop it into bite-sized pieces. You can refrigerate the meat and broth at this point (or not). If you've refrigerated the broth, when you're ready to make the soup, remove the fat from the top of the broth. Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and saute them for 5-6 minutes until they soften. Sprinkle on the remaining garlic powder and stir it in. Add the broth, another quart of water, the chopped turkey, the remaining parsley flakes, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Bring the soup mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook it until the vegetables are barely tender. Add the dumplings to the pot and stir them in. Increase the heat to bring the soup mixture back to a boil after adding the dumplings, then reduce the heat back to a simmer. Let the soup cook until the dumplings are cooked through. Add the peas, if you like, and then turn off the heat. The pot will be quite full of dumplings. Serve the soup hot with a salad and bread, if you like.

Easy Turkey or Chicken Dumpling Soup

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