Spring Vegetable Minestrone, Basil and Tarragon Cream, Chicken Dumplings

By • March 27, 2014 1 Comments

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Spring Vegetable Minestrone, Basil and Tarragon Cream, Chicken Dumplings

Author Notes: Make this for guests, the fresh bright color alone will wow them.... The soup is great alone, or it makes more of a meal if you add the chicken dumplings.....A dry Reisling would be perfect with this!Jinnie22


Serves 6

The Minestrone

  • 1 cup each of diced baby carrots, haricots vert, yellow squash, baby carrots or any other vegetable you fancy
  • 1 cup frozen Bird's Eye peas, or fresh spring ones if you can get them
  • 8 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 leeks, rinsed and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup dried pasta of your choice, I use ditalini
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch tarragon, stems removed
  • 1 bunch basil, large stems removed
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  1. In a large, heavy bottomed pot, Melt the butter and add the leeks and the garlic. Saute until softened, about 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently so the leeks don't color.
  2. Add the chicken stock, pasta, and carrots and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the rest of the vegetables apart from the peas, and simmer for 2-3 more minutes. Add the peas a few minutes before serving.
  3. While the soup is simmering, in a blender pulse the cream with the basil and the tarragon until light and frothy. Don't overblend or you will make butter! (this isn't a disaster, still add it to the soup if that happens, it will taste the same)
  4. Season the soup with salt and pepper, and add juice from the lemon to taste. Add a dollop of the basil tarragon cream just before serving.

Chicken Dumplings

  • 3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 slices of stale white bread, or 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Romano cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts finely minced
  1. In a food processor, pulse the bread into fine bread crumbs. Add the scallions, chicken, salt, a good grind of black pepper, and egg, and blend until you see no pieces larger than a pea.
  2. Add the cheese and cream and pulse until you have a smooth-ish puree, it doesn't need to be perfectly smooth, but together.
  3. If you are adding to your minestrone, the time to add it is with the pasta and carrots. Use two spoons to form teaspoon-sized oval shaped dumplings and drop them into the soup. It helps if you dip the spoons into cold water as you work.
  4. The dumplings should simmer in the soup for at least 10 minutes. when they are done they are puffed up and have a springy,bread-like consistency at the center.

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