It seems like just yesterday I was writing about Thatbaby's 2 month shots. Hard to believe it was over 2 months ago. Time flies very quickly when your main mode of entertainment is Pandora's Muppets station and your main exercise routine involves doing chest presses with a 13lber. (Apparently WAY more entertaining than playing airplane)
The passage of 2 months means we recently made another trip to the doctor for Thatbaby's 4 month vaccinations.
I consider us to be lucky in many respects when it comes to babies. I joke that we paid extra for the deluxe model that doesn't drool, spit up, and manages to keep his bodily waste neatly tucked away in his diaper. He's also fantastic when it comes to shots. Well...fantastic in a relative way. He does cry when he's getting the shots, but within minutes after he's perfectly fine - just doing that dry sobbing thing that I do after I get shots too. Needles are traumatizing.
The only issue with all this is that because he's such a healthy baby, we've only had his regular well-baby doctor's visits. Which means every time we go to the doctors, he ends up getting these shots. And I'm sure eventually he's going to put 2 and 2 together and realize that.
I decided to do chicken soup for dinner after the appointment. It's kind of the opposite of "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" - chicken soup after the doctor cures whatever ails you from the appointment itself. Things like PTSD from vaccinations. In general, Thatbaby doesn't get the soup till several hours after I do, but I like to think that I'm still providing him with something warm and healing by eating it.
If you recall, I wasn't thrilled with the dumplings in the Cooking Light chicken and dumpling recipe. I wanted something with a little bit more substance - a little more matzah bally. So I decided to work on those dumplings. I took the easy way out by using a baking mix - I love Trader Joe's multigrain, and just added milk until it was nice and thick and dense. I figure I can play with the actual flour/baking powder/salt ratio another time. This gave me some amazing dense dumplings.
I also added some mustard seed to the broth to give it that golden color I prefer in chicken noodle soup (a little bit of curry powder could also work and I'm thinking delicious). Not only is it more photogenic this way, but I swear golden soups taste better! I tossed in some frozen peas only because they were taking up valuable freezer room. As with any good soup, you can feel free to add or subtract your own favorite vegetables. Zucchini would be fantastic in this, if I had any on hand.
This soup, with the golden color and dense dumplings is far superior to the last one I posted. It was amazingly delicious. As you've seen over the past few months we do a lot of soups round here in the winter - and I have some more to share with you over the next few weeks. But this definitely ranks up there as one of my new favorites.
Make it now before the weather gets warmer! Even if you're not sick. I'm not a doctor (and I don't even play one on tv) but I'd be willing to bet that eating this soup is a surefire way to stave off any illness that may be lurking around the corner.
Chicken and Dumplings (adapted from Cooking Light Chicken's Chicken and Rosemary Dumplings)
7 cups chicken broth
1 boneless skinless chicken breast
2 thyme sprigs
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup diced onion
1 cup frozen peas
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1 cup baking mix (I used Trader Joe's Multigrain mix)
1/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Combine chicken broth, water, chicken and thyme in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
- Remove chicken from broth and cool. Shred chicken with two forks. Remove thyme and discard.
- Heat oil in pan over medium high heat. Add the carrot, celery, onion, and peas. Saute until onion is translucent.
- Sprinkle the vegetables with flour, stirring until the mixture thickens.
- Add the vegetables and 1/2 tsp salt to the broth and stir until well blended.
- Stir in the ground mustard. Simmer 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl combine the baking mix milk and garlic powder. Stir until just combined.
- Add the chicken to the soup, stirring well. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
- Drop the dumpling dough into the soup. Cover and cook 8 minutes.