Kitchen gar­den cook

Country Life Every Week - - Contents -

Melanie John­son con­jures with cran­ber­ries for cosy nights

Serves 4

This is the ul­ti­mate cold-weather warmer: chicken soup with cosier?’ cheese-and-cran­berry dumplings. What could be

In­gre­di­ents

For the soup A splash of olive oil 1 onion, diced 2 large car­rots, diced 3 stalks cel­ery, diced 1 whole chicken 1tspn pep­per­corns 1 bayleaf 50ml dou­ble cream A hand­ful fresh pars­ley

to serve

For the dumplings 200g self-rais­ing flour 75ml but­ter­milk (or a lit­tle

more if needed) 40g Ched­dar cheese, grated 25g Camem­bert, chopped 50g fresh (or frozen) cran­ber­ries, chopped

Method

Add a splash of olive oil to a large casse­role dish. Over a medium heat, briefly fry the diced onion, car­rots and cel­ery be­fore adding the whole chicken to the pot. Pour in enough wa­ter to just cover the chicken, to­gether with the pep­per­corns and bayleaf. Bring to a boil and then re­duce the heat and sim­mer gen­tly for an hour.

Mean­while, pre­pare the dumplings. Put the flour in a large bowl, pour in the but­ter­milk and mix with your hands to form a dough, adding a lit­tle more but­ter­milk if nec­es­sary. The dough should feel quite sticky, but be able to hold its shape in a ball. Add both cheeses and the cran­ber­ries and then roll the dough into dumplings. Set them aside on a plate.

Lift the chicken out of the pot and re­move the bayleaf. Cut away the meat and shred it us­ing two forks. Set it aside.

With the chicken out of the pot, use a stick blender to half-purée the soup. Don’t purée it com­pletely—you just want it to have a warm creami­ness to it, but with tex­ture. Add the cream and stir well. Re­turn the shred­ded chicken to the pot and stir it through.

Warm the soup and bring to a sim­mer. Drop the dumplings onto the top, cover with a lid and cook the dumplings for about five min­utes.

To serve, place a dumpling in each bowl and la­dle the soup around it. Scat­ter with herbs and serve.

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