The other day, I was craving soup and dumplings, but didn't want to use tofu or some kind of faux chicken product as the protein. So I dug through my pantry and landed upon some cannellini beans that I decided would probably taste good in the soup and added in some leftover mushrooms from my refrigerator. These two things ended up tasting really good together, and were perfectly complimented by dill and fresh thyme. To make the dumplings, I used Bisquick (I love Bisquick) and added fresh dill and cracked black pepper. These dumplings were light and fluffy and melted into the soup, creating a dish that's warm and cozy and perfect to tuck into at the end of a chilly day.
4 TB olive oil
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
large onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
5-6 cloves or garlic, minced
1 TB fresh thyme, minced
1 TB dill, dried
1 TB mirin or broth
5-6 baby bella (crimini) mushrooms, sliced and chopped
1 can of cannellini beans (15 oz.), rinsed
1-2 TB Earth Balance, optional
5 cups homemade stock (use onion and mushroom to make stock if you can) or Imagine brand No-Chicken broth
2/3 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
several dashes of fresh cracked pepper
2 cups Bisquick
mellow miso, to serve
Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add in the flour and stir to combine. Add in the onion and stir to coat. Sprinkle with salt and allow to simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, lowering the heat a bit if the flour starts to brown.
Sprinkle the onions with the garlic and mushrooms and saute for 4-5 minutes, then add in the fresh thyme and dried dill and stir to combine. Turn the heat up to medium high. Once it starts to sizzle, deglaze the pan with the mirin or broth and lower the heat back down to medium. Add in the beans and add a little Earth Balance if the mixture is dry. Add in the stock and allow to come to a small boil. Dial the heat back down to medium low and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the soup is simmering, make your dumpling batter. Combine the unsweetened almond or soy milk with the chopped dill and cracked pepper in a measuring cup. In another small bowl, measure out the dry Bisquick. Slowly pour the liquid into the Bisquick, stirring gently until combined. Do not overstir or the dumplings will be tough.
Drop tablespoon-sized spoonfuls of the Bisquick batter into the soup. Cover and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes to allow the dumplings to rise and soften.
The dumplings taste best fresh, so if you want to make a smaller batch, just transfer some of the broth to another bowl and refrigerate until ready to use and reduce the amount of Bisquick batter accordingly.
Before serving, remove about a cup of the hot broth and add 1-2 TB of mellow miso. Stir until dissolved, and add in back into the pot. Then ladle the soup into bowls and top with the dumplings. Serve immediately.