Hello, Fall! Who doesn’t have cravings for piping hot bowls of soup using homemade bone broths, loaded with vegetables? Pre-Paleo, I always loved the chewy bites of dough in classic chicken and dumplings soup, so I am super excited to share with you a grain-free alternative using… CAULIFLOWER!
1 head organic cauliflower
half a leftover roasted chicken, with the meat
2 cups shredded chicken (harvested from the half chicken above)
4 cups water
2 cups chicken stock (additional)
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper and additional salt, to taste
Note: Cheesecloth or something comparable is needed for this recipe.
To start, place the leftover roasted chicken into a dutch oven (or a large stock pot with a lid) with 4 cups of water. Bring this to a boil, then cover and reduce temperature to simmer. Let this simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until the water becomes a rich broth and the chicken is falling off the bone. Remove the chicken from the stock, harvest all of the meat (about 2 cups is needed) and set aside. Go ahead and toss the bones, skin and other funky stuff. Bring the stock back to a boil in order to reduce the volume to approximately two cups and concentrate the flavor.
While the broth reduces, divide the head of cauliflower in half. Chop one half of the cauliflower into florets. When the chicken broth has reduced to about two cups, add the florets to the pot with a quarter teaspoon of both dried thyme and the 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt. Cover and simmer the seasoned cauliflower florets until very tender… about 10 minutes.
While the florets simmer in the stock, break down the second half of cauliflower and load into a food processor. Pulse the cauliflower until a fine rice texture is achieved. You may find that working in batches helps to break it down easier. Transfer the grain-like bits to a microwave-safe bowl, cover and steam in the microwave for 4-6 minutes — or until very well cooked. Allow to cool to nearly room temperature… I don’t want you to burn your hands.
Getting back to the soup. Once the cauliflower florets are cooked down, they will need to be pureed with the chicken stock to create our creamy base. I break out my immersion blender for this job (being careful not to damage the bottom of my pan!), however, you could always transfer this to a large blender… whatever works best for you. In any event, puree the cauliflower with the stock.
Add the diced carrots and celery, additional two cups of chicken stock and additional salt and black pepper to taste. Allow this to simmer at medium-low temperature, softening the carrots and celery.
While that cooks, let’s jump over to the dumplings. Working in small batches, spoon portions of the cauliflower into a cheesecloth, wrap completely and twist hard to wring out all moisture. This is key. The cooked grain-like cauliflower should now look a lot like masa flour.
Place the strained, cooled cauliflower to a mixing bowl and add an egg, a quarter cup each of tapioca and coconut flours, plus a quarter teaspoon of kosher salt. Bring together with a spoon first in the bowl, then turn out onto a work surface to knead, shape into a square about a half-inch thick and slice into nine squares. Let rest.
Now that the carrots and celery have softened in the creamy cauliflower soup base, it’s time to add the reserved chicken back to the pot and finish this classic comfort dish with these fabulous cauliflower dumplings! Stir in the shredded reserved chicken, do any final seasoning adjustments with your salt and pepper, then gently top the soup with the cauliflower dumpling squares. Allow them to float on the surface of the soup. I added a little bit of cracked black pepper over the top too, just for good measure. Cover the dutch oven (or large pot, whatever you’re working with), reduce the heat to low and let cook for ten minutes.
Serve piping hot and top with sliced scallions or fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley.
Last thing – Super huge THANK YOU to Matt & Stacy for allowing me to guest post this recipe on PaleoParents.com earlier this week! If you missed it, here’s a link to the post! The Paleo Parents debuted their second cookbook, Beyond Bacon, earlier this year and it’s a must have for your Paleo collection! I learned so much from it and continue to use it regularly.
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There are a few things that help these crazy Paleo-ified concoctions come together a bit more smoothly. For this recipe, you will likely find a food processor, a mesh bag, an immersion blender and cast-iron Dutch oven helpful.
Plus this post on Google+