Chicken Soup For The Soul With Gram Dumplings |
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Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 60 minutes 

Serves 6

Both restorative and therapeutic, this one-pot meal with aromatic vegetables and herbs delivers nutrients in an easy-to-absorb form. This is a great recipe for a simple Sunday lunch — all you need is a big pan or pot to fit the whole chicken, veggies and extras. 


For the soup:

  • 1 x 1.8kg chicken

  • 2 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped

  • 3 sticks of celery, roughly chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, but left whole

  • 4 bay leaves and a few sprigs of thyme

  • 2 handfuls of fine egg noodles or spaghetti, broken into bits (quinoa, corn and rice spaghetti also work)

  • Small bunch each of flat-leaf parsley and dill, roughly chopped (optional)

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

For the gram dumplings: 

  • 90g of gram flour

  • 1 tsp of baking powder

  • ½ tsp of sea salt and freshly ground black or white pepper

  • 2 medium eggs

  • 1½ tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil, ghee or chicken fat

  • 2 tbsp of chopped dill


1. Rinse the chicken and place in a very large saucepan. Cover with water until it reaches at least 8cm (3in) above the surface of the chicken. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes. Skim off any froth that comes to the surface.

2. Add the rest of the soup ingredients (apart from the parsley, dill and noodles, if using) and bring everything back to the boil, then turn down the heat and leave to simmer for an hour. If you want to make your gram dumplings with chicken fat, then reserve one-and-a-half tablespoons of the fat by skimming the surface regularly into a bowl — the fat will start to solidify at the top as it cools.

3. Meanwhile, to make your gram dumplings, whisk together the gram flour and baking powder in a bowl. Beat the eggs in a large bowl with the olive oil or ghee (or your reserved cooked chicken fat), dill and the salt and pepper. Slowly stir in your gram flour until well-blended to make a thick, sticky batter. Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes, covered with cling film, then wet your hands with cold water and roll the dough into about twelve small balls (roughly a teaspoonful each) — or make them slightly bigger, if you like. Don’t roll them too large, though, because they double in size when cooked.

4. Carefully remove the chicken to a large dish and leave to cool slightly. Using two forks, shred the chicken from the bones and set aside, reserving the skin and bones to make another stock, if you like.

5. Bring the soup back to the boil and gently drop in the dumplings. When they rise to the surface, turn the heat down to a simmer and cover the pan. Cook for 20—25 minutes, until the dumplings are cooked through and the centres are light. Cut one open to check — if the centre is hard and dark, cook for another three to five minutes, until cooked through.

6. About halfway through the dumpling cooking time, add in the noodles, if using, to the pan and cook gently for the final 10 minutes.

7. Add all your shredded chicken meat to the soup, along with the parsley, and warm through for three minutes. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the dill and serve.

TIP: If you find it hard to shape your dumplings, then chilling the batter for about three hours will help. Don’t worry if you can’t get the hang of shaping them, though, as you can simply use teaspoonfuls of the mixture — they might not be the perfect shape but will be lovely and rustic. 

Recipe from East by West: Simple Recipes for Ultimate Mind-Body Balance by Jasmine Hemsley, photography by Nick Hopper (Bluebird, £25)


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