~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Romanian Chicken Soup with Dumplings(Supa de galuste)

Romanian Chicken Soup with Dumplings... Both my husband and I grew up with this delicious soup. A Romanian classic soup... equivalent to the chicken and noodle soups here in the states. The soup was especially good on a rainy or cold day.

My mom always used semolina flour for the dumplings. I too use semolina flour for the dumplings , but this time around I didn't have any. I had some cream of wheat... and thought that it should work just as well....right? Well, I was happy to find out that they turned out great using cream of wheat! But whatever you use, either the traditional semolina or cream of wheat, I am sure it will come out. The semolina dumplings I think are a bit lighter in color than the cream of wheat.

There really isn't much to this soup except the dumplings. The dumplings can get hard, but if you will cover the pot and let it simmer, the dumplings will eventually soften. Feel free to use bone-in chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken to make the stock...I've even used about 8 chicken wings to make the soup as well. I've updated the photo:). Hope you enjoy...

Note: The top photo is of a semolina dumpling chicken soup made with chicken wings(for the soup stock). I ended up making less dumplings... 1 ex-large egg and 1/4- 1/3 cup semolina.

Tip: When you form the dumplings, make sure you first place your spoon in the hot soup before you actually form each dumpling... this will help the dumpling not stick to the spoon so much, makes for a cleaner looking dumpling.
You can lift the lid halfway through cooking when making the dumplings... just to make sure that no dumplings are sticking to the bottom. They should all rise up and float. Cover and continue to simmer... till soft and plump. The dumplings should be about doubled in size. You should be able to cut through the dumpling without any resistance. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and /or chopped green onions and/or pepper.

Soup Ingredients:
1 whole chicken, or a large Cornish hen
2 celery stalks
2 carrots
1 parsnip(if you have)
1 big yellow onion
2-3 garlic cloves

Directions for Soup:
1. Wash chicken and place in a large pot.
2. Add celery,onion, garlic and carrots. My mom always used a parsnip. Add that in if you have it. I didn't have it ...it still came out great!
3. Add about 1 heaping TBS kosher salt. Cover with water to almost the top of the pot....oh, about 10-15 cups of water.
4. Heat on high and bring to boil. Skim off any grey matter(scum) that accumulates. Lower heat to low and semi cover it. Leave the lid askew so that it won't boil over.
5. Let it simmer on low for 1-2 hours.You can likewise to make the stock in a pressure cookier... it will take 40 minutes.
6.Taste for seasoning and adjust. Strain broth.
7. Reserve chicken meat for other use(chicken salad, enchiladas,quesadillas etc).
8. Make dumplings.

Dumpling Mixture:Do the dumplings only before you are ready to form them and the stock is ready.

2 ex large eggs, beaten
1/2(+/-) cup semolina flour, or you can use cream of wheat
pepper, optional
1 tsp onion powder(totally optional...I sometimes add it for additional flavor)

1. Beat the eggs. Add the semolina(or cream of wheat, if using)... start with 1/3 cup for every 2 ex-large eggs.... and then add a bit extra semolina if needed( up to 1/2 cup or so).
2. Mix to fully incorporate. You may need to add a bit extra semolina, a bit at a time, if the mixture is too, too runny( all depends on the size of the eggs)... but don't add too much, as the dumplings can get to be tough if the semolina mixture is too thick. Rather err on adding less semolina and letting the mixture rest longer.  You still want the mixture to be somewhat soft... the consistency of sour cream(as my mom told me).
3. Allow the dumpling mixture to rest until thickened(about 5 minutes)... you should be able to form a dumpling without it falling apart, but it will still be a bit soft. You may want to add one dumpling in the soup to check for consistency and see if it falls apart in the soup right away.... if it does, let it rest a bit more, or add a tiny amount of semolina flour if need be.    
4. Before you form the dumplings, place your silverware teaspoon or tablespoon in the hot stock, then form dumplings mixture....this helps the dumpling fall off the teaspoon without sticking. They will plump up to twice their size.

Continue with making the soup....

1. Bring broth to a boil and then lower heat to medium so that it is a soft boil.....I noticed if the broth boils rapidly, it will sometimes break up the dumplings.
2. Add dumplings using a silverware teaspoon to form them into a semi football shape. After all the dumplings are made give them a stir in the broth to make sure they don't stick to the bottom.
3. Add 1/2 cup cold water and cover. Bring back to boil and then lower heat to simmer.
4. Cover the pot and simmer for 20-40 minutes... or until dumplings are fork tender.


fatcat said...

This looks delicious. How long will the dumplings keep in the soup? Is it better to store the dumplings in the soup or separately if it needs to keep for a few days?

Ellie said...

I always leave the dumplings in the soup. The flavor of the soup infuses in the dumplings. I've kept the soup in the fridge for a few days. But,like with anything else, it is best eaten fresh. I've even frozen the soup if I felt that we weren't going to eat it right away. Hope that helps.

magdalene said...

Thank you for this recipe!!! My favorit Romanian soup. You should have a seperat side for all romanian cooking. Pofta buna draga! and God Bless!

Anonymous said...

I am looking at your cozonac (Romanian Christmas bread) recipe--

(I hope I spelled that correctly)--

my 'little one' (my youngest) is of Romanian ancestry. She came to this country (to be our daughter) when she was just a few months older than five. Her first five years were spent mostly in an orphanage--

We have been making a BIG attempt throughout our parenting of her to keep her as Romanian as possible (which isn't easy when none of us speak Romanian; the closest we get is that my husband was raised by a Czech grandparent and does have some Romanian ancestors, too, but he's American born and raised)--

anyway . . .

she studies Romanian on line, and I do homeschool her (I don't want to say too much more; I want to protect her privacy; she's also VERY musically gifted)--

we are Christians, and this year our church is hosting a dinner for international Christmas, and everyone in our congregation is being invited to bring food from his or her country of ancestry; we do have a few immigrants of various nationalities in our congregation--

and our little one is THE only child who was born in a country other than America--

she is proud to be Romanian--

and she's a VERY good little baker's helper--

she is excited to help me make this--

I guess I just am SO delighted to have found someone who grew up on this--

I've been googling for this recipe--

you use chocolate in yours, I note; many of the others only have raisins or nuts--

my little one LOVES (absolutely adores) anything chocolate--

when we came on the plane (she had to come in one day, for adoption regulations, and for her safety, she could never leave the airport)--

she had ONE thing from Romania--

chocolate . . .

she still calls it 'chocolat'--

with the Romanian accent, and she has been here for many years--

(but she is very tiny)--


I am excited to 'find' you and I hope you won't mind answering my questions about . . .

the Christmas bread--

another site said that Turkish delight is often served; my little one loves all things Narnia--

and so that excited her, too--

we could make this bread together and take it with some 'locum'--

Anonymous said...

I know I posted somewhere else on here--

The cozonac is in the oven right now; it looks beautiful.

We looked far and wide to find some real rum extract--

my daughter is SO excited. She helped a lot with the bread--

I can't thank you enough for going to the trouble to put this on your website/blog--

There may be people 'out there' who don't even tell you what a blessing it is--

to find a REAL Romanian Christmas bread recipe, etc.

So far the filling and dough looks exactly like yours--

We used King Arthur flour.

It has really been an inspiration to my daughter to look at your site--

we want to make even more of the recipes.

My daughter is a great help in the kitchen and has made a few meals on her own, but I think I have a budding cook on my hands--

THANK you!

the mother who was anonymous on November 1--

Ellie said...

I really, really appreciate your kind comment and most of all for taking the time to write. It is such a neat feeling to know that someone else is being encouraged by this blog. Today, you made my day...so happy that you and your daughter are enjoying the blog. I am glad that you are having fun together in the kitchen. When I was growing up, I especially loved watching and helping my mom prepare meals for us...she inspired me(and still does!) Have a blessed day!~Ellie

Anonymous said...

u r blog is too good.i like the way u write all the tips and everything.

Ellie said...

Anon, Thank you for your kind comment. I am so glad you like the blog:)...really appreciate you letting me know.
Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Isn't there an herb typical to Romania that gives the soup a mildly sour flavor? It was one of my favorite soups in Romania. If not this, do you know of the soup I am speaking of? I remember trying to sneak some of the herbs back into the USA and was nailed by TSA.

Ellie said...

Anon, I am not sure what "herb" would give the soup a sour flavor... unless maybe the fact that a sour liquid was added ... like borscht, juice from sauerkraut, lemon, juice, etc. Which is normally associated with a "sour" soup called ciorba.

But maybe you are thinking of "macris" which is often used in vegetable based soups and often used alongside spinach, too.

The "macris" has a mildly sour taste... and the Romanian "macris" isn't the same as the watercress which is how it is normally translated... but rather sorrel. And you can find sorrel here in the states...

Now, I don't know if I've answered your question... but these are my thoughts... and hopefully it helps:).

tfwalsh said...

Thanks for sharing this recipe... I grew up eating this soup... I always tried to get more dumplings into my plate than my sisters:)

Amelia said...

I think the herb you are talking about might be lovage which in Romanian would be "leustean". My mom used to put that in many of her soups. Another thing it could be is "stevie" but I'm not as what it translates in english, google suggested stinging nettle but I am not sure I agree with it. Hope that helped. By the way Ellie, I am addicted to your blog, I always look at your recipes and find inspiration to cook something new. The other day I tried your naan bread, it was delicious! Thank you!

Ellie said...

Amelia, Aww...I am so glad you are inspired though this blog! Thanks so much for letting me know. It means a TON! Always makes my day:)! Was kind of you to take some time and share your feedback. By the way, the naan recipe is my absolute favorite:)... so glad you liked it!

And thanks for the other herb option that I didn't think of... while I am very aware of the "leaustean"(lovage), it never crossed my mind that others may add it to this soup. I suppose it's probably due to the fact that my mom just didn't add "leustean" to this particular soup. It was most always with parsley... But thanks for bringing that up... it just might help others.

Oh and stinging nettle is more like the "urzici" we know. So you are right, it probably wouldn't be "stevie". Hmm, I have to do some research and see what "stevie" is called in english....

Have a great day!

D.Halmaghi said...

I do love this soup! I am Romanian and my dear grandma used to make me Tocana de Carapina *spell? she has passed before I could learn this dish. Have you ever made this? Thanks!

Ellie said...

D. Halmaghi, Yes, this is a favorite with lots of Romanians:)...

You know, I'm not sure what type of tocana you are referring to. So sorry... but maybe you could look it up by the ingredients it had( if you remember). Sure hope you find a recipe similar to what your grandma made..

Thanks for stopping by...

Anonymous said...

My best friends in college were Romanian. I went home with them six months after the fall of Ceasescu. I stayed six months and fell in love. I went bk and lived almost a year. Reading these recipes is making my mouth water.y children's lullabies were sung in Romanian. They understand when I speak it to them. Love this. THANK YOU!!'

Ellie said...

Anon, You are welcome! So glad you stopped by to share...

You've definitely experienced Romania... and its food... by living there. So glad to hear that you enjoyed your time there.

I am glad I could bring back memories through this Romanian soup. Definitely a favorite of ours. Hope you can try it one day:).

Thanks a ton for stopping by... I always love to hear from my readers.