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News / Life / Clark County Life

Turkey soup simply delicious: Fluffy dumplings cook right in the warming, bubbling soup

By Monika Spykerman, Columbian staff writer
Published: January 24, 2024, 6:00am
3 Photos
Turkey soup with dumplings is so simple you can make it with one hand.
Turkey soup with dumplings is so simple you can make it with one hand. (Monika Spykerman/The Columbian) (Monika Spykerman/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

What do you do when life gives you lemons? Make soup, of course. We’ll get to that. But first, let’s discuss the lemons. It’s not so much that life gave them to me but more that I went looking for them. Life, astonished at my foolishness, said, “You want lemons? Fine. Here’s your lemons.” Life proceeded to be most generous in its lemon distribution.

I suppose it’s more accurate to say that, instead of lemons, I went looking for waffles — Elmer’s Belgian waffles with strawberries and whipped cream. This seemed like a perfectly sensible thing to want on a snowy Sunday morning. The snow was powdery with plenty of shoe-gripping action. Our trusty, dark gray Prius, aka Stormy, looked raring to go.

I pulled on my black snow boots, purchased for $20 in the sale bin at Fred Meyer in 2007. I felt certain I could get another season of use out of them, even if the treads on the bottom had worn a bit smooth. No matter! They were waterproof and warm and I’d just need to step carefully.

Once we were in the car, Stormy didn’t seem quite so sure about driving up the gentle incline of our driveway. My husband shoveled snow out of the way and we tried again. Just as our momentum was carrying us over the lip of the driveway and out into the street, my husband stopped to put away the shovel. After that, we were stuck again. Stormy seemed as though she just needed the merest nudge to get us waffle-bound.

“Let me get out and push,” I said.

My husband revved the engine while I tried to give Stormy a boost. My boots were skidding a bit in the snow so I almost gave up. But then I thought, “I’ll just give ’er one more try.”

And then I slipped and broke my shoulder.

So for the next few weeks, I will be making recipes so simple you can make them with one arm tied behind your back — or in a sling.

Today’s recipe is turkey soup with dumplings. I didn’t cut or slice anything for this recipe. It’s made entirely with ingredients I could just dump in the pot. I started out with half a pound of ground turkey, browned in a skillet with splash of oil. I added the turkey to a pot with one 32-ounce box of chicken stock. After that, I raided my freezer and came up with a 10-ounce bag of cauliflower, a generous cup of frozen peppers and half of a 16-ounce bag of frozen breakfast potatoes. Lastly, I chucked in a packet of instant onion soup with big pinches of rosemary, coriander, lemon pepper and paprika.

You don’t have to limit yourself to frozen vegetables. If one of your arms isn’t broken, go right ahead and chop up all the fresh vegetables you want. You need about 4 cups of vegetables in total but you don’t specifically need peppers, potatoes and cauliflower. Use anything that appeals to you or any vegetable that’s been waiting forlornly in the bottom of your produce drawer.

A note about salt: One package of onion soup mix has enough sodium to fell a wildebeest, so I suggest using low-sodium broth. Taste your soup before you add the dumplings and add a cup of water or milk if necessary.

For the dumplings, I mixed 2/3 cup flour with 1 teaspoon baking powder. I added a teaspoon of dried rosemary and dashes of other savory herbs. In a separate bowl, I combined ¼ cup milk with 2 tablespoons olive oil. I mixed the wet ingredients with the dry until everything was evenly moist. I dropped tablespoons of dough into the bubbling hot soup, covered the pot with a lid and let them cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Voila! Fluffy dumplings!

We did make it out of the driveway, finally, but our destination was the ER. After a few hours, X-rays and an arm sling, we finally left the hospital. As we were pulling out of the parking lot, my husband and I shared a meaningful look. Then we went straight to Elmer’s for waffles.

Monika Spykerman: 360-735-4556; monika.spykerman@columbian.com; instagram.com/monikasplayfulpantry/

Turkey Soup

½ pound ground turkey, browned with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil

One 32-ounce box of low-sodium chicken stock

One 10-ounce bag of frozen cauliflower florets

1 generous cup of frozen peppers

½ 16-ounce bag frozen breakfast potatoes

1 packet instant onion soup mix

Herbs and spices according to preference

  • Dumplings:

2/3 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon parsley, rosemary or other herbs

¼ cup milk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Brown turkey in oil over medium-high heat in a pot on the stove. Add other ingredients. For the dumplings, mix flour with baking powder and herbs. In a separate bowl, combine milk with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Mixed wet ingredients with the dry until everything is evenly moist. Drop tablespoons of dough into the bubbling hot soup, cover the pot with a lid and let cook for 10 to 12 minutes.

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