When I was young, my mother often brought dinner to the table explaining, somewhat apologetically, that we were having “first night soup.” That meant the soup had just been made, and hadn’t had time for the water to thicken fully into broth, for the flavors to meld and mellow. We all ate the satisfying soup knowing that the following night we would begin to taste it as it was meant to be.
Now, on the homestead, we rarely have “first night soup.” We have the time to simmer soup longer than Mom could, and we often add dumplings. Dumplings will make the thinnest, newest soup into a savory, hearty meal.
Dumplings are quick, easy, and frugal. They’re more economical and better for us because when we have dumplings in the soup, there’s no need for biscuits on the side, which must be baked separately, and will inevitably be buttered or even honeyed before eating.
Michelle makes fast dumplings using her basic biscuit recipe, except that she increases the 2/3 Cup milk to ¾, adds herbs, and cooks them in the soup instead of baking them in the oven:
2 Cups whole grain flour
¼ Cup wheat germ (or oat bran)
4 Tsp. baking powder
½ Tsp salt
1 Tbsp herbs (Italian seasoning or garden herbs)
Stir in ¼ Cup oil
1 Tbsp honey or molasses
¾ Cup milk
Drop by spoonfuls into boiling soup. Cover, simmer 12-15 minutes.
This goes great in poultry/vegetable soups, especially turkey frame soup.