This recipe is a take on the Jewish matzo ball soup, but we’ve added a Bavarian-style bread dumpling in place of the matzo ball. These dumplings are also fantastic to serve with roasts to sop up the delicious juices.
For the soup:
To prepare the stock, place the chicken, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, bay leaf and peppercorns in a large pot with enough water to cover the chicken. Bring to the boil and gently simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour and 20mins or until the chicken is very tender and falling off the bone. Remove the chicken and allow to cool.
Strain the cooking broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Return the strained broth back to the pot. Discard the onion, garlic, bay leaf and peppercorns. Chop the carrots and celery into bite-size pieces and return to the broth.
Once the chicken is cold enough to handle, remove all the meat from the bones and roughly chop and return to the pot, discarding the skin and bones. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Keep warm.
For the dumplings:
Heat oven to 160C. Spread sliced bread onto 2 baking sheets, and bake until slightly dry, about 15 mins; transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
Heat oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 mins or until golden brown. Transfer to the bowl with the bread, and set aside.
Add milk to the saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, and pour over bread. Add parsley, flour, nutmeg, and eggs; season with salt and pepper and, using your hands, mix until evenly combined.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low and keep at a simmer.
Moisten your hands with water then scoop out a rounded tablespoon of dumpling batter and roll it into a 1-inch ball. Drop into water, and repeat with remaining batter. Cover the pot, and simmer until dumplings are tender and puffed, about 15 mins.
Remove dumplings using a slotted spoon, drain briefly on paper towels.
Place a few dumplings into serving bowls and ladle soup over top. Serve hot, topped with dill.
For the soup:
1 whole chicken
2 large carrots, peeled and halved crosswise
2 stalks celery, halved crosswise
1 large white onion, peeled and halved
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
For the bread dumplings:
500 grams stale bread, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cups milk
¼ cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
¼ cup plain flour
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Picked dill tips