Hello, bowlful of comfort. Here is a quick and easy broth-based wild turkey soup. It’s thick and scrumptious with puffy, foolproof dumplings.
Never made dumplings before? No worries. If you’ve ever dropped spoons full of chocolate chip cookie dough onto a baking sheet, you know everything you need to know about successfully stirring up these fluffy-yet-substantial dumplings. The leftover soup and dumplings reheat beautifully, so make plenty for your workweek lunches or early morning meal-in-the-field Thermos.
1-2 cups shredded, pre-cooked wild turkey
8 cups wild turkey or chicken stock (here’s a recipe to make your own)
3 stalks celery, halved lengthwise and diced small
2 carrots, quartered and diced small
1 tablespoon shallot, diced
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons (heaping) baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (approx.) half-and-half
1-2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Place shredded turkey into a 3-5 quart enameled cast iron Dutch oven (I used a Lodge 3 qt.) and add the stock. Begin warming. When I made my turkey stock, I infused it with fresh tarragon, thyme, and garlic. I always prefer homemade stock, but if you opt for store-bought, consider simmering with some herbs of your choice to deepen the flavor.
With the broth is on a low simmer, peel the carrot and the backs of the celery stalks. Dice. In a small saucepan bring 2-3 cups of lightly salted water to a boil. Drop in the carrot and celery. When veggies are tender, drain and add to simmering broth.
(Why not put in the simmering stock, you ask? Since my stock was homemade, I had plenty depth already built in. Carrot is one of those vegetables that’s strong in flavor and color when added to stocks and broths. I’m not a huge fan of strong carrot flavor, and I’ve found parboiling is the perfect way to incorporate carrots into my broth-based soups.)
For the dumplings, begin by sifting together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Add cream and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Gently drop spoonfuls (again, about the same amount of dough as if you were making cookies) into simmering broth. At first the dumpling will sink below the surface, but before you are done dropping the rest of the dumplings, you’ll notice the first ones starting to float and expand. Place the lid on the pot and cook for approximately 10-15 minutes. Remove the lid and sprinkle with chopped parsley or other herb of choice. Serve while it’s hot, or reheat later. As you break into the steamy dumplings, you’ll notice they thicken the broth, making this a hearty dish you’ll want to make time and again.