Asian-dumpling soup – Carol McFarland

As we count down to the first Farmer’s Markets and experiencing the uncertainty of dressing appropriately for the Palouse spring weather – I keep digging into the remnants of my frozen and dried foods from last season. This soup is perfect for a rainy spring day, and was inspired after inheriting some wonderful (super-authentic) Chinese pork sausage dumplings made by my good friend Quiping Peng. I paired them with a base of chicken broth I made from the delicious Link’d Hearts Ranch chicken of last summer and a mixture of veggies. I suspect with a few minor substitutions this could easily be made vegetarian.

Asian Dumpling Spring Soup:

Time: 40 minutes   Serves: 6 Budget Value Rating: $$/6=3

2 T Camelina Gold oil

1 medium onion

3 cloves garlic – minced

1 T fresh ginger (optional)

3 medium carrots sliced

1 stalk celery (or equivalent frozen, dried or celery root like those we found at Deep Roots farm)

1 pack of dumplings that could be made with local pork sausage from Omache farm (the frozen potstickers from the Moscow Co-op would probably work here)

4 c Broccoli and Cauliflower florets (fresh or frozen)

2/3 c dried mushrooms (I picked mine up from the Moscow Winter Farmer’s Market – I think they were from OR)

1/3 c dried red peppers from Tonnemaker farms

4 c chicken broth

2-3 c water

1/4 c soy sauce, Bragg’s aminos or coconut aminos for those of us who can’t have soy

1/4 c apple cider vinegar

fresh spinach, green onion, fresh cilantro, fresh parsley, sirracha, salt and pepper to taste

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Get some Camelina Gold or your favorite cooking oil heating on medium-high heat in your soup pot and start some water boiling. Add the onion to the oil and sautee for a 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and ginger, sautee these for another 2-3 minutes. Now, add the carrots and celery sautee for about 5 more minutes. If your water has heated, pour it into a small cup or bowl over the dried mushrooms and peppers (and celery if using dried). Add the cider vinegar to the soup pot, let it steam off for about 1 minute (BTW – don’t put your face right over the pot with vinegar or you’ll get a face full of it!) now add the chicken broth. Allow that to heat until it gets nice and foamy. At this point you can add the mushrooms and peppers as well as the water they were in. Allow it all to simmer for another 5 minutes before adding the broccoli, cauliflower, dumplings and soy sauce to the pot. 20150317_194032After about 10 more minutes this should be ready to garnish up and serve – but keep and eye on it so that it doesn’t over-cook. This last bit will depend on the type of dumplings you are using and if the broccoli and cauliflower are frozen or cooked.

Top this brothy, but hearty soup with fresh spinach and cilantro, sprouts, whatever you like and sit back and enjoy the rainy evening. This is also a great twist on “Chicken-Noodle soup” or “Chicken-Dumpling soup” if you or your loved ones have fallen victim to the spring “crud” that seems to be going around.

Do you love to cook international/fusion food with delicious local ingredients? Do you know where we can get these ingredients this time of year? Wild-crafted mushrooms on the Palouse? Do you have a really awesome friend from another country that makes amazing food? Tell us about it in the comments below!

With Gratitude- especially to Shane McFarland for always helping to clean up the mess I make!

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