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Tomato and Mushroom Soup with Pasta Dumplings

November 29, 2007

Tomato Soup with Dumplings

I didn’t actually intend to make pasta dumplings. And frankly, I think this would have been better if the pasta had turned out the way I wanted it to, so I think this recipe needs a little more tweaking. I actually based this soup off a recipe that has been sitting in my overstuffed recipe folder for almost three years: Mark Bittman’s Pasta in Broth recipe from his New York Times column, The Minimalist. His recipe is minimal, all right, and I am decidedly not a minimalist. So I decided to fancy it up just a little.

What intrigued me about the original recipe is that it seemed like a really easy way to have homemade pasta. No pasta maker necessary, no endless rolling out of dough. Bittman writes that you can just pinch small pieces of dough off the ball and throw them into simmering stock. What could be easier? Sadly, it wasn’t as easy as I thought to pinch small pieces. Mine were larger, and resulted not in pasta so much as in doughy, heavy dumplings. It’s not that they were bad, just…unusual.

However, the overall finished product tasted pretty good. So I figure if I can find a way to make the pasta part turn out the way I want it to, this could be a kitchen regular.

What I do like about this recipe is that the pasta dough is pretty easy. The only thing I would suggest is to be a more liberal with the flour than I was. I had a hard time getting it to be less sticky, which I think led to my big dumplings problem.

Dough man

I think this looks like a grouchy little dough man. Heehee.

Tomato and Mushroom Soup with Pasta

  • 1 – 2 c. all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T and 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 c. chopped mushrooms
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 1 14-ounce can of chopped tomatoes
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • a pinch of marjoram
  • salt and pepper
  • parmesan for extra tastiness

The dough can be made up to a day ahead and refrigerated until you’re ready to make soup. Combine about a cup of flour and the salt in a large bowl. Make a little well in the middle, and add the eggs and 1 teaspoon of olive oil into the well. Using a fork, start to whisk the eggs and oil together, using the fork to gradually incorporate the flour. Add more flour as necessary so that the dough doesn’t stick to the bowl and starts to form a smooth, slightly dry ball. Once it’s pretty well mixed, flour a countertop a bit and knead the dough a little bit, until it’s pliable and smooth and not sticky. I was still adding flour at this point, but I was too cautious. My dough stayed sticky. If you’re making the dough ahead of time, wrap it in plastic and stick it in the refrigerator.

When you’re ready to make soup, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Add the mushrooms, spread them out as well as you can in the skillet, and let them cook for a few minutes. Give them a quick stir, spread them out again, and continue to let them cook. Add the chopped garlic after the mushrooms have been cooking for about five or six minutes. Once the mushrooms start to brown a little, you can remove the skillet from the heat and set it aside.

Combine the broth and tomatoes in a large soup pot, and add a bit of red pepper flakes and marjoram. Bring the broth and tomato mixture to a boil. I pureed the tomatoes a little bit with my fancy blender, basically just because I wanted to use it. You can leave the tomatoes as chunky as you like, though. Once the broth is boiling, add the sauteed mushrooms, and lower the heat just a smidge. Start pinching off pieces of dough and throwing them into the simmering tomatoey broth. Depending on the size of your pieces, you should continue to cook the soup for anywhere from four minutes to ten minutes–once the pasta is done the soup is ready.

Tomato soup with large dumplings

As you can see, it looked a little strange, and nothing like I was expecting. I was kind of nervous at this point, and if I’d followed the simple Bittman recipe, which is basically just pasta in chicken broth, I believe I would have been very, very disappointed. But the tomatoes and mushrooms added a really nice taste, so I was ok with my much more hearty dumplings. I do like this recipe because it seems so freaking versatile. All I have to do is master that pasta pinching technique, and this recipe will definitely end up staying in the overstuffed recipe folder.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Leo permalink
    November 30, 2007 3:21 am

    this looks soooooo good!!!!
    Do you by chance, know of any quality online food services? I am starting to order all my food online because of various reasons. (Health being one of them) So far I have found 2 services, Fresh Dining (an LA company) and Celebrity Foods, but you have to call them so they can talk to you about your need. I would really like any suggestions that you may have, so I can widen my list of quality places online where I can order healthy food from.
    Thank you and have a great night or day…depending on when you read this. LOL!!!!

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