Soups & Salads

My kids love dumplings. Every time I make soup it is expected that I will make dumplings. For me it is a random thing, experimenting with different proportions, different flours, an add this, add that kind of thing. They always turn out different, but they are always a success.
I think my personal favorite is when they are made with semolina flour and when I incorporate cooked vegetables. What kind of vegetables? It depends on what kind of soup I am making.
dumplings-picture2
This time I was making my favorite Summer Pea Soup, so the candidates were cooked carrots, parsnips, celery root and peas. If you are making a different style soup, you can put your favorite things into them. Make sure you let us know how it turns out!

Vegetable Semolina Dumplings
Serves 4
Semolina Dumplings full of vegetables. Ideal for soups. Kids love them.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups cooked vegetables
  2. 1 cup semolina
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil
  2. In a medium bowl, mash the cooked vegetables.
  3. Add semolina, eggs, salt and pepper.
  4. Stir until a thick batter forms.
  5. With a soup spoon, form tablespoon-sized dumplings and drop them carefully into the boiling water.
  6. Boil the dumplings until they bob to the surface, approximately 5 minutes.
  7. Add them into a soup or enjoy by themselves.
Emperors Crumbs https://www.emperorscrumbs.com/

Here in California, you could easily assemble a meal from prepacked components almost every night of the week. There are pre-formed hamburger patties, sure to please our six-year-old; par-baked loaves of artisanal bread, even packages of coleslaw with squeezable pouches of dressing to toss together. While we haven’t used too many of these shortcuts, knowing they’re out there is reassuring. Sure it’s cheaper to buy a bunch of green beans and top and tail them yourself, but sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day and you can throw together some pretty impressive meals in a short time using pre-prepared ingredients.

Case in point: this salad. Trader Joe’s sells steamed beets and pre-cut butternut squash right next to its bags of salad mix. A little farther down the aisle are the cheeses, I grabbed smoked mozzarella because the kids love it. Nab some bread (oh, and maybe some of the chocolate-covered almonds, them’s healthy fats) and head home to your new favorite salad.

Arugula salad with roasted squash and beets
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 3 medium beets
  2. 1 medium (1-2 lb.) butternut squash, or one package of pre-cut squash
  3. 1 tsp olive oil
  4. 4 ounces (115 grams) smoked mozzarella cheese, diced
  5. 6 ounces (170 grams) arugula, three or four big handfuls
  6. salt and pepper
For the dressing
  1. 1 Tbs + 1 tsp good-quality olive oil
  2. 1 Tbs + 1 tsp whole-grain Dijon mustard
  3. ½ clove garlic, crushed
  4. 2 tsp maple syrup
  5. 2 Tbs red wine vinegar
  6. salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Prepare a pot with a steamer insert. Remove the tops and scrub the beets so they’re nice and clean, then chop them into about ½-inch cubes, and steam for 10-12 minutes or until they are just beginning to get tender (stick a fork one in to check).
  2. Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C) and lightly coat/spray a baking sheet with vegetable oil. While the beets are cooking, prepare your squash: if you have a whole squash, cut off the “neck”, peel it and dice it into ½-inch cubes. (You can also peel and cut up the bulbous part and clean out the seeds, but I usually save that for another time.) If you’re using pre-cut squash, just make sure the pieces are all about the same size as the beets. Toss with the teaspoon of olive oil to coat, and spread on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. When the beets have steamed, put them on the baking sheet with the squash. They’ll color the squash where they touch, but I consider that a feature, not a bug. Sprinkle everything with salt and pepper, and slide into the oven to bake for about 20 minutes, tossing once halfway through.
  4. While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the dressing: whisk together the mustard and oil, and stir in the garlic. Add the maple syrup, and then the vinegar, tasting to see that the proportions are as you like. Add salt as needed.
  5. Rinse and dry the arugula.
  6. When the vegetables are tender and starting to brown, take them out of the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes.
  7. In the biggest bowl you have, toss the vegetables, arugula, and mozzarella with the dressing and serve.
Emperors Crumbs https://www.emperorscrumbs.com/

I’ve kept you on pins and needles waiting for this recipe, haven’t I? To be honest, I delayed posting it because I wasn’t as happy with it the last time I made it and wanted to make a few adjustments, so you see, I had your welfare in mind all along. Well, that and we were away on vacation, and have just generally slipped into a more relaxed summer mode.

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