C H I C K E N  D U M P L I N G  S O U P

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 8-10 minutes

Serves: 2

Season: All ingredients available year-round

1 small garlic clove

Sea salt

2 skinless chicken breasts, maximum weight of

125 g each

1 tblsp corn flour

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 egg

100 g vermicelli noodles

50 g baby leaf spinach or two handful

15 g fresh parsley

1 carrot

1 lemon, unwaxed or organic

600 ml chicken stock, homemade or store bought 

A few granules chicken bouillon or stock cube

(optional)

Freshly ground black pepper

Peel the garlic and place in a mortar, add a little salt and pulverise it to a paste with a pestle.  Combine the garlic paste, chicken breasts, corn flour, cumin, and the egg in a food processor.  Pulse to bring the ingredients together into a coarse paste.  Wet your hands with a little water and begin to shape the chicken mixture into small dumplings about the size of a 50p piece.  Set the chicken balls on a dinner plate as you work your way through the mixture.  They may stick slightly to the plate but don't worry, they will soon retain their rounded shape once in the broth.

Place a small saucepan filled with boiling water over a high flame.  Again, using your hands, crush the noodles into small pieces and gently lower into the boiling water.  Cook for 2 minutes and drain.  Wash and dry the spinach and parsley.  Grate the carrot and squeeze the lemons.  Divide the noodles, raw spinach and grated carrot between each bowl.

Bring the stock to a simmer; taste and adjust the seasoning.  If you haven't made your own stock you may want to add a few granules of chicken bouillon powder or a portion of a stock cube to the broth.  Now gently lower the dumplings into the hot stock and lightly poach.  The dumplings rise to the surface like gnocci when they are cooked through, after about 5 minutes.  If you would like to check to see if the dumplings are thoroughly cooked, remove one from the broth and divide in half.  The dumpling should be an opaque white all the way through.

Ladle the poaching liquid and dumplings over the bowls of noodles and vegetables.  Garnish with about a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice.  Serve with fresh chopped parsley.

Cook's note:  The garlic in the chicken dumplings is lightly cooked, so therefore on the stronger side.  If you are serving this to children you may want to leave it out.