If you have sourdough discard, don't pitch it! Make dumplings or spaetzle with that discard! You'll have tender, light dumplings that will enrich a pot of chicken soup. The dumplings, or in Germany, spaetzle, are easy to make in minutes. I mix up the dough and, depending on the temperature in my kitchen, either refrigerate it or leave it on the counter until I'm ready to make the dumplings. You can drop the dumplings from a teaspoon into the soup, but it's easier to use a wide-holed colander or spaetzle-maker (which aren't readily available in the United States). The Sourdough Dumpling and Chicken Soup is more akin to a stew than a soup--full of vegetables, tender chicken, and the soft, tasty dumplings--and makes a great main dish on a cold day. The soup also holds well and can be left to simmer on the stove until you're ready to serve it. How are the sourdough dumplings? I like the sourdough dumplings better than regular dumplings--the sourdough gives them more taste!
Sourdough Dumpling and Chicken Soup -- Makes 3-4 quarts
1 tablespoon of canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
8 ounces of chopped or shredded carrots
2 teaspoon of salt, divided, plus extra to taste
4-5 cloves of chopped garlic
1 tablespoon of poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
5 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
Large handful of parsley, chopped (about 1/2 cup), plus extra to garnish
10 cups of water
Dumpling dough (see below)
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large soup pot and add the onion, celery, and carrot. Sprinkle on one teaspoon of salt and saute the vegetables for a few minutes. Add the garlic, poultry seasoning, and pepper and mix them into the vegetables. Move the vegetables to the sides of the pot and add the chicken thighs to the center. Let the chicken thighs cook a few minutes, then flip them over, letting them cook a few minutes more. Add the parsley and the water to the pot and stir everything well. Bring the mixture to a boil, partially cover the pot, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the soup simmer for a couple of hours or until the chicken is fork tender. You can remove the chicken from the pot and chop/shred it, or just mash it with a spoon while it's in the pot (the chicken is tender, so I squash/shred it in the pot, which saves washing a plate). Add up to another quart of water if the soup has boiled down too much, increase the heat to medium until the soup is simmering, and drop the dumplings into the soup. You can drop them by half teaspoonfuls or work the dough through the wide holes of a colander (the holes should be about half an inch wide or a little less). Stir the soup a little as you drop in the dumplings, so that the dumplings don't clump together. Let the dumplings cook in the soup for about 10 minutes. If you don't want to serve the soup immediately, it's okay. Turn the heat down to low to keep it warm, and stir the soup periodically. The soup and dumplings will be fine. You can top the soup with a little more chopped parsley before serving time.
1 cup of sourdough discard/starter
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
In a medium bowl or measure, combine the discard/starter, eggs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and stir them well to combine them. Stir in the flour. The dough will be thicker than a batter but much thinner/more liquid than bread dough--more like a thick pancake batter. Put the dumpling dough aside until you're ready to use it in the soup. You can leave the dumpling dough on the counter if your kitchen is cool or refrigerate the dough. I usually leave the dough on the counter to let the sourdough flavor develop. Stir the dough well before you make the dumplings.