Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Parmesan Soup with Green Onion and Parsley Dumplings


Oh my. I had a bit of an accident this morning. Nothing too serious, thank goodness. I was day dreaming and it just happened. You see, I thought about making biscuits and an hour later, I had something totally different; Parmesan Soup with Green Onion and Parsley Dumplings to be exact. My kitchen accidents rarely make it to the written word. Mostly they end in the pull out waste basket built into the counter. Dead men tell no tails I always say. This time, though, something wonderful happened and if you’ll indulge me, I’ll share it with you.

On my usual morning pantry inspection, I noticed a box of Bisquick in there. You know Bisquick, right? Bisquick is basically flour with the leavening agent already in so making pancakes and biscuits are simpler.

Biscuits sounded good. The side of the box gave the amounts of milk to add to make “biscuits or dumplings”. Dumplings? Oh!!! I haven’t made dumplings in like forever and I love good dumplings. Dumplings it is. It seems that ups the stakes a bit because now I need a brothy medium of sorts to cook the dumplings in. Well, I have some chicken stock. Good enough. Now here’s the cool part. In the back of the fridge I saw the remnants of what used to be a monster chunk of Parmesan Cheese that came from Costco. Have you ever seen the size of the Parmesan-Reggiano offerings from Costco? They are huge and I bet I had a 10 oz chunk of rind left. That’s the part that, while edible, is really too hard for anything and usually gets tossed out. I’d heard that they were good for soups so I thought this might add a hint of flavor. What I was completely unaware of was that this was to be the star of this dish and I cannot wait to make more. You will love this recipe, I think.

Instead of plain drop biscuits, I added lots of fresh green onions and parsley to the dough. Now I had lovely green lemony and oniony flavors dispersed throughout the biscuit and I was sure these would be good. You will see in the recipe that I used just a few things in the broth because that’s what I had, but visions of thinly sliced mushrooms or small potato cubes sounds quite special too.

In the end, what I ended up with was a super creamy broth that held tender bites of savory dumpling. That depth of flavor and the complexity of the buttery Parmesan-Reggiano was a welcome byproduct and not even close to my original vision of this recipe. Not only would I order this in a restaurant, but I would recommend my friends try it when they go. The dumplings were perfect with their hints of green and bright fresh flavors of onion and parsley. It was like eating Springtime against a nutty, buttery Parmesan canvas. You really should make this or your own variation.

Parmesan Soup with Green Onion and Parsley Dumplings

For the Dumpling dough, you can follow the directions on the side of a box of Bisquick to make about 12 dumplings. Add about 3 green onions, finely diced, to the dough as well as about ¼ cup chopped parsley. Mix well. Roll into balls. They should be about 2/3 the size of a golf ball.

For the soup

8 cups chicken stock
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
10 oz (or so) Parmesan-Reggiano rind (using shredded or grated will make the soup “stringy”)
½ cup chopped Italian Parsley plus some extra for garnish
12 or so dumplings

Add all ingredients except dumplings to a pot and bring to a simmer. Salt and Pepper to taste. Cook about 15 minutes to blend flavors and soften carrots and onions.
Add dumplings one at a time and ensure that there are at least 2-3 inches between dumplings because they will expand. Cook until dumplings are cooked through (about 10 minutes). Soup will thicken slightly. Using a large slotted spoon or “Spider”, remove the remnants of the Parmesan-Reggiano rind and discard.
Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with additional Parsley.

8-12 servings

1 comment:

lisaiscooking said...

What a great soup! It sounds delicious.