There is a ridiculously long list of new recipes on my whiteboard that I want to share with you, but that requires re-making them, picking...Read More
Chicken & Dumplings Soup from Paleo Soups & Stews
I’m all about Well Fed Weeknights right now (out November 1!) but this is the season when everyone releases their new books, so I’m going to highlight some of the awesome new options in the paleo world. Today, I’m sharing a look inside a book I truly love: Simone Millers’s new cookbook Paleo Soups & Stews.
I’ve been a fan of Simone’s recipes for ages, and I adored her last cookbook The New Yiddish Kitchen (my rave review here). So when she asked me to write the foreword for Paleo Soups & Stews, I said yes immediately. This new book is packed cover to cover with heart, cooking wisdom, and very delicious, always reliable recipes.
My foreword tells you everything you need to know:
To understand why I think Simone is a best-quality human, you have to know something about me first: I’m a serious introvert.
Back in 2011, I attended the Paleo f(x) conference in Austin, Texas for the first time. I was a new cookbook author, and I was both delighted and overwhelmed to find myself in a room full of paleo practitioners. Everyone was there! The researchers, the lifestyle gurus, the ripped fitness geeks, the bloggers… and me.
So there I stood, trying to figure out how to mingle—is there anything worse for introverts than mingling?!—when I found myself talking with Simone. I’m not sure if we were introduced by mutual friends or spontaneously started to chat, but I was smitten with her immediately. She’s funny and kind, with plenty of backbone, a quick laugh, and a generous spirit.
Those are all characteristics you’ll find familiar if you’ve cooked any of the wonderful recipes to be found on her Zenbelly blog or in her previous cookbooks. Her food and writing authentically capture who she is in real life—an irresistible blend of sophistication, earthiness, and enthusiasm for food, life, and food-life.
Simone earned her experience in the trenches of restaurant kitchens, and has the chef’s coat and sailor-esque vocabulary to prove it. Her recipes combine a deep understanding of how flavors work together, honed by creating dishes in demanding restaurant kitchens. But she never forgets the needs of people like us: She clearly explains technique and makes high-end paleo recipes manageable for everyone. By following her clear, supportive instructions, you will create food that looks and tastes like it came from a high-end kitchen. (Chef’s coat and swearing optional.)
In her first book The Zenbelly Cookbook, Simone gave us the first truly high-end paleo recipe collection, proving that quality ingredients will always deliver first-class flavor. WithThe New Yiddish Kitchen, she and her co-author Jennifer Robins invited us into their Bubbe’s kitchens—and put bagels, cream cheese, and kugel back on the menu.
I think we can all agree the only thing more comforting than a bagel with schmear, is a bubbling pot of soup. But you will probably also concur that rich, hearty, velvety, sippable potions and stews are rare in the paleo world. The ingredients traditionally used to produce those silky textures—namely, heavy cream and flour—are verboten for most of us following the paleo template. Let’s also pause for a moment to mourn the loss of the go-alongs that can make soups something special: crusty bread for dipping, tender noodles for slurping, crackers and croutons for a crispy contrast.
Enter Simone’s experience and creativity.
She’s cracked the code on inventive ways to make hearty and silky soups that honor the nutrient density of the paleo framework. And her breadsticks, crackers, noodles, and cashew yogurt? They’re not “good for paleo,” they’re good. Or, to be more accurate: Good, with a capital G.
Simone’s recipes set the bar for paleo cookbook authors, and she continues to demonstrate that the “restrictions” of paleo aren’t limitations at all. They’re a call to be creative, to embrace the joy inherent in food, and to nourish ourselves with the bold flavor of quality ingredients.
I’m grateful I met Simone in that crowded room, and I’m filled with affection for her and her recipes. I wish we saw each other more often, but when I cook her food, it’s like a lovely visit with her, just hanging in the kitchen. Her presence on the page is as comforting as a bowl of her luxurious Chicken & Dumpling Soup, and just as welcome.
So, let’s talk about what’s in this cookbook…
I am bad at making soup without a recipe. My mom is the master of throwing together ingredients that turn into magical potions. But me? I need detailed instructions. Thankfully, Simone’s new book provides dozens of luscious recipes, but she’s also included a very helpful primer on soup-making technique, how to season soups and stews properly, and equipment and storage tips. In addition to comforting recipes like Thai Pumpkin soup, Orange and Olive Beef Stew, Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup, and Moroccan Vegetable Stew, there are the all-important go-alongs that turn soup into a meal. I’m talking about treats like paleo-friendly crackers (Oyster crackers! Garlic and Chive Crackers! Seeded Crackers!), Plaintain Tortillas, Drop Biscuits, Rye Bread, Baguette, and more. She’s even included innovative dessert soups. (Hello, Chocolate Soup!) This cookbook is page after page of inspiration—and all the recipes are easy to follow, even if you’re not a kitchen pro.
Simone was kind enough to let me share a recipe from the book, and I chose Chicken & Dumpling soup. My mom’s dumplings are like little chewy clouds floating in sunshine broth. This recipe is a close second.
Chicken & Dumpling Soup from Paleo Soups & Stews
Serves 6 | Prep 35 minutes | Stove 45 minutes | Slow Cooker 9-11 hours
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces (or 4-5 pounds bone-in thighs & breasts)
2 tablespoons ghee
1 medium onion, cut into small dice
2 celery ribs, cut into small dice
2 medium carrots, cut into small dice
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
8 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup canned, unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup blanched almond flour
3/4 cup cassava flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
fresh parsley or chives
In a large bowl, whisk together the arrowroot starch, salt, and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the mixture, coating them on all sides.
In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the ghee. When hot, add the chicken in batches and cook until golden brown on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
Remove the chicken and set aside. Add the onion, celery, and carrots to the pot and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until the veggies have softened.
Stir the thyme and turmeric into the vegetables. Pour in the broth, scraping up any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot.
Return the chicken to the pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer the soup until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken pieces and set them aside to cool.
While the soup is simmering, make the dumplings: Mix together the almond flour, cassava flour, baking soda, salt, and coconut milk. Use your hands to form the dough into 24 small dumplings. The dumplings should be somewhat round but still rustic looking.
Drop the dumplings into the simmering soup and cook for 5 minutes.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and shred it. Discard the skin and bones. (Save the bones for making bone broth!)
Add the shredded chicken and coconut milk to the soup and simmer for another 3 to 4 minutes, until heated through. Garnish with fresh parsley or chives, if desired.
Slow Cooker Instructions
After completing Step 4, transfer the contents of the pot to a slow cooker and add the chicken. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken pieces from the pot and allow to cool. Complete Step 6, then turn the heat up to high and add the dumplings to the slow cooker, allowing them to cook for 20 minutes, or until they’re cooked through. Proceed with Steps 8 and 9, cooking the soup for about 10 minutes to heat through.