With a chill in the air and footballs flying, I begin to crave a warm bowl of soup. Soups are one of those recipes that I feel cooks of all levels can confidently prepare. Ingredients can be added or left out, soup consistency can be thick or thin, and spices and herbs can be tailored to your taste bud’s preferences.
One of my all-time comfort soups is my mom’s recipe for chicken and dumplings. My little sister and I would request this recipe as soon as the leaves started falling off the trees in Tennessee. Not only does it take me back to my southern roots, it feels like a big bowl of hugs from mom.
I made a couple of modifications to her recipe by adding extra veggies and a change to the dumplings. Mom used to use Bisquick as her dumpling base which created a fluffy, airy dumpling. I, however, like my dumplings dense and chewy. The addition of cottage cheese and egg whites not only creates the texture I enjoy, but it also increases the protein content. Whole-wheat flour adds fiber.
It’s the ultimate comfort food with a healthy twist.
Warm olive oil in a large stockpot. Add cubed chicken. Once browned on all sides, add flour and cook chicken until no longer pink. Add the broth, vegetables and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile, for dumplings, in a large bowl, beat the egg whites and cottage cheese until blended. Add water and salt. Stir in the flour and mix well.
Bring soup to a boil. Drop dumplings by large tablespoons into the boiling soup. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in dumplings comes out clean (do not lift cover while simmering).
Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons.
If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.
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