Sous Chef Holly Holt's 'Heart'y Chicken and Drop Dumpling Soup

Serves 4



1 whole chicken, preferably locally sourced, quartered

To taste salt and pepper

2 Tbs (30 mL) canola oil

1 large carrot, diced

1-2 celery stalks, diced

1 large yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 stem fresh rosemary, stem removed, roughly chopped

2 sprigs fresh thyme, stem removed, roughly chopped

1 bay leaf

10 chicken hearts, optional (you can usually find these at your local grocery store)

¾ cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Drop dumpling batter

¼ cup unsalted butter

½ cup (120 mL) water

½ cup all-purpose flour

Generous pinch of salt

2 eggs


  1. Season the chicken all over with a sprinkle of salt and pepper
  2. Heat oil in heavy-bottomed pot. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned.
  3. Add in carrot, celery, and onion, and cook until onions are just translucent.
  4. Reduce heat to low, add garlic, cook until fragrant.
  5. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and all herbs except parsley. Add enough water to cover chicken. Cover with lid, and simmer on low for 1 hour.
  6. If using chicken hearts, prepare by removing ventricles, and any fatty bits as best you can, and set aside.
  7. Prepare your drop dumplings: in a small pot, bring butter and water to a simmer. Remove from heat, add flour and salt, and using a wooden spoon stir vigorously. Let mixture cool until it no longer steams.
  8. Add eggs as slowly as possible (to avoid scrambling) while still mixing with wooden spoon. Dough should be shiny and smooth. Add some of the parsley to batter if you like. Set aside.
  9. Taste soup, add salt to taste. Shred chicken meat from bone, remove bone and discard.
  10. If you’ve lost a lot of liquid, you may want to add more water at this point. Bring back to a simmer. If using chicken hearts, add them at this point.
  11. Drop dumpling batter by the spoonful into the hot broth as quickly as possible – use two spoons to achieve best results, one to scoop dough, and the other to scrape the dough off to drop into broth. Dumplings take about 3 minutes to cook, and will float on the surface when done.
  12. Turn off heat, add parsley, lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.

This soup freezes very well if there are leftovers!

Read about Sous Chef Holly Holt here

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