Turn up the comfort with no-fuss dumplings

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There is nothing like a pot of fragrant soup or stew simmering all day in a Dutch oven on the stove top or slow cooker to warm you up on a cool, crisp fall day. Soups and stews are tried-and-true comfort foods, warming the soul as well as the body.

The comfort doubles when a soup or stew is topped with fluffy dumplings, placed on the top of the stew or soup in the final moments of the cooking process and then gently steamed to perfection. Dumplings are more a drop biscuit than pastry, so there's no rolling, shaping or fussing. Just stir up the dough, spoon it into the pot, cover and come back in about a half-hour.

Members of the features department have offered up some of their recipes for chicken and dumpling soup, beef stew and a dumpling recipe that would go great on any soup or stew.

Chicken and dumpling soup


(Courtesy of Jennifer Huberdeau, features digital editor. Adapted from a recipe by her grandmother, Rita Beebe. The dumplings — recipe below — are an important part of the recipe, as they thicken the broth.

The recipe has been altered to accommodate those who do not eat dairy products. For a more traditional recipe, replace the almond milk with low-fat milk, coconut milk with heavy cream and vegan butter with butter.)


INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 stick of vegan butter
  • 64 ounces chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup white cooking wine
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) Goya coconut milk
  • 5 large Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
  • 2 cups of chicken, cut up in small pieces (can be leftover chicken or fresh)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Melt butter in a large dutch oven, adding in the cooking wine and coconut milk.
  2. When the butter melts, add in onion, carrots, celery and garlic.
  3. Simmer. Stir occasionally, until onions are translucent.
  4. Add in chicken, potatoes and chicken stock.
  5. Add in Italian seasoning and bay leaf.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Bring to a boil, lower heat, stirring occasionally. Cook for 20 minutes (chicken should be cooked and potatoes are soft).
  8. Drop in dumpling mixture.
  9. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
  10. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes.
  11. Serve soup and dumplings.

  12. Dumplings

    (Adapted from Bisquick dumpling recipe)
    INGREDIENTS:
    • 2 cups Bisquick
    • 2/3 cup almond milk


    DIRECTIONS:
    1. In a medium bowl, add Bisquick and almond milk, stirring until a soft dough forms.
    2. Drop mixture by spoonfuls onto boiling stew and reduce heat.
    3. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
    4. Cover pot and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
    5. Serve with soup.

    Beef Stew and Dumplings

    Dumplings


    (Courtesy Meggie Baker, Eagle calendar editor)

    INGREDIENTS:
    • 1 1/2 cups flour
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 tbsp melted shortening
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 cups milk

    DIRECTIONS:
    1. Sift together dry ingredients.
    2. Add milk and shortening.
    3. Mix thoroughly but quickly.
    4. Drop from spoons into hot stew, gravy or steamer rack.
    5. Cover tightly and steam for about 15 minutes.

    Slow-cooker beef stew

    (Courtesy Margaret Button, associate features editor. This recipe can be a base for your favorite dumpling recipe.)

    INGREDIENTS:
    • 1 1/2 pounds beef stew cubes
    • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
    • 1 1-pound package baby carrots
    • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
    • 2 or 3 stalks of celery, cut into wide slices
    • 1 packet Lipton Onion Soup mix
    • 2 bay leaves

    DIRECTIONS:
    1. In large slow cooker, layer the first five ingredients in the order listed.
    2. Mix onion soup. Mix in cup of hot water and pour over the ingredients in the slow cooker.
    3. Add more water to slow cooker until meat and vegetables are barely covered.
    4. Add bay leaves.
    5. Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until everything is tender.
    6. If desired, add frozen peas for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
    7. Once everything is tender, turn slow cooker up to high.
    8. Mix flour and water (or cornstarch and water) to make a medium-thick slurry.
    9. Once the stew is bubbling in the slow cooker, add the slurry and stir gently until the stew liquid thickens.

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