Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dumpling Soup

With temperatures dipping into the 40s at night, I think it's safe to say that fall has officially arrived in the D.C. area.  And what could be better than putting on sweatpants, getting an extra blanket out of the closet, and bundling up with a bowl of warm soup? 

A bowl of warm soup.
We decided to try out a recipe from good old Martha Stewart for Dumpling Soup.  The recipe calls for pre-made dumplings, so it's pretty easy to manage. 

Recipe:     
Dumpling Soup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 - 2 inch chunk fresh ginger, slivered
  • 43.5 ounces low sodium vegetable broth
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 18 vegetable dumplings (frozen or fresh)
  • 2 cups frozen corn (or baby corn)
  • 6 cups lightly packed arugula

First, heat the oil and garlic in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  When the garlic begins to sizzle, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes or until the onion begins to soften.  Then add the ginger and three cups of water to the pot; stir, cover, and bring to a boil.  Cook for 10 minutes.
Next, add the broth and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms begin to soften (about three minutes).  Add the dumplings and corn, and boil until the dumplings are tender (three or four minutes; the dumpling package may also have a more precise cooking time estimate).  Finally, add the arugula and stir for 30 seconds. 

Serve hot.  Yields 6 servings.

Comments:
Taste:           
It turns out that we may have preferred a little more control over what went into the soup when it came to the dumplings.  The refrigerated dumplings from the sushi section of the grocery store ended up tasting fairly bland (a splash of soy sauce helped out, here).  Even so, the soup did have a pleasantly fresh taste and I especially liked the arugula in it.  We all enjoyed the dish a bit more the second day, so keep in mind that it improves with age.
Accessibility:        
I was planning to buy frozen rather than fresh dumplings to save on cost, but the only vegan dumplings carried by our usual grocery store were fresh.  They ended up being pretty expensive. 
 Ease of Preparation:         
While this dish was a bit lacking on taste and accessibility, it was definitely easy to make.  There's a bit of chopping prep work to take care of, but then it all just goes into the pot. 
Non-vegan friendliness:         
I wouldn't want a skeptical non-vegan to judge vegan food by this dish.  That said, the soup was very filling and it was pretty exciting to have dumplings for dinner (even if they weren't the greatest), so I'd say this was a pretty non-vegan friendly dish.

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