4 as main course
Soup for your soul, or for when you’re ill. My Austrian grandma used to make a chicken dumpling soup that I always crave when I’m feeling a little under the weather. Dumplings (or quenelles in French) are traditionally served with a heavy sauce, but I think they go just as well in this light soup.
- 6½ cups chicken stock
- 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
- 5 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- salt and pepper (if needed)*
- ½ bunch of parsley, leaves roughly chopped
For the quenelles:
- 7 oz raw chicken breast
- 3½ oz white bread, no crusts
- 6½ tbsp half-and-half
- 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp salt
- a pinch of pepper
- a pinch of nutmeg
TO MAKE THE QUENELLES: Put all the ingredients into a blender and whizz until you have a smooth paste. Form the paste into 20–25 quenelle shapes by using two tablespoons (for smaller quenelles, use two teaspoons).
- Put the stock and carrots into a large pot. Bring the stock to a boil and boil for 10 minutes.
- Drop the quenelles into the boiling stock and cook for 5 minutes (3 minutes for the small ones), adding the mushrooms for the last minute. When the quenelles are done, they will rise to the surface.
- Serve immediately, garnished with some roughly chopped parsley.
* Depending on the quality of your stock, you may not need to add any salt or pepper. Taste for seasoning before serving.
The traditional way with quenelles
Poach the quenelles in boiling water until they rise to the surface, then drain and put into a baking dish. Cover with grated cheese or Sauce Béchamel and broil until the top is bubbling and golden.