Tag Archives: healthiest food

Tasty Thursday #3 – Thimble Soup

Beef Stuffed Dumplings

For a little background, I found this amazing recipe over on Give Recipe while doing an internet search for ravioli. Boy am I glad I did!

She calls it Thimble Soup or it’s called yüksük çorbası. It’s actually a popular wedding dish in Turkey according to her blog. We sure didn’t celebrate a wedding but the marriage of ingredients made my mouth very happy. I did have to change up the ingredients from her original recipe due to some dietary restrictions…so here is what I came up with.

Dough for dumpling wrappers
4 cups flour
3 eggs
2 cups water (I need WAY less, so I recommend adding about a 1/2 cup and then a little at a time until it balls together)
2 tsp salt

Mix ingredients, by hand mixing and kneading (wet hands to prevent sticking) until the dough doesn’t stick to you hands. Divide into 4 big equal parts.

Chopped Onion
1 lb Ground Beef
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper

Mix all ingredients together.

Now flour the counter and place a dough ball. Flour the top and flatten with your hands. I used a rolling pin to roll it out, dusting with flour to prevent sticking until I got it very thin. I could almost see through it at this point. You can now use a knife or pizza cutter to cut squares or you can use a small 2″ biscuit cutter. Now place a small bit of the meat filling into the center. Pull up edges and combine corners. There are many different methods to choose from. I like the referenced one in the link above or even small half moons. I actually have a tart crimper that would work perfect for this task! One sealed, set aside on a tray with a small space around each one.

Now that you have  your dumplings built, it’s time to boil them in broth. Use a large stock pot for this.

Broth Bath
2 cups beef broth
2 cups chickpeas (I used home canned sweet corn instead)
1 lemon (juiced)
4 cups water

I actually did 6 cups of beef broth instead of the broth and water since I also altered away from the chickpeas.
Bring to a boil, slowly add the dumplings. As they begin to float, in roughly 10 minutes, remove from heat and add one cup of cold water.
*Since I had several pots full because I made all of the dough and filling instead of cooking them in the oven for a later date, I would pull them out of the broth bath and submerge into a bowl of cold water with just enough to cover them until the pot was refilled. These have very good flavor at this point and could be topped with just about anything or eaten plain, as is (I had to taste test them at this point). I then added them into the sauce base after draining the water.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp pepper paste (I used 1 tsp of red pepper flake)
1 tsp dried mint
Paprika powder to taste
2 grated tomatoes (I used stewed tomatoes we had canned up this last year)

Once the sauce is heated and the tomatoes are just pulp, remove from heat. This is the stage that I just added the boiled dumplings. Once all of your dumplings are cooked, then go ahead and add in 1 cup of water to the last batch of boiling dumplings after removing from heat. Stir in your sauce base and pre-cooked dumplings and it’s all ready to be served.

On the page I pulled this recipe from, I noticed that she also tops with a yogurt and garlic cream. It’s 1 cup of yogurt with three mashed cloves of garlic combined. I think sour cream would work just as good or maybe even a cream cheese and garlic. For those that can’t have dairy, I recommend using mashed cauliflower and garlic.

So there you have it. The best overall meal I think I have ever experimented with. Not too overly spicy and perfect for subzero temperature days!

A steaming bowl of yummy goodness!
A steaming bowl of yummy goodness!

Know your Food – Part Two

I posted a video blog the other day about the local food systems that have been started in Austin, TX. I think that there are some excellent model examples within the video that we can all learn from.

As many of you know that follow this blog, I am a big promoter of local foods. I believe in the system of knowing your farmer and having an open working relationship with them. I don’t think it matters if it’s the vegetables you buy or the milk you drink. Knowing the who, what, where, when and how of food production is crucial to getting the healthiest food for you and your family.

Yesterdays blog about the media coverage of Agriculture and food production showed just how limited our exposure is when it comes to food. Knowing your food isn’t just about the recipes, it’s all about the ingredients you put into the recipes.

Some people who read this blog are vegans or vegetarians, I understand your concerns over how meat is grown. It concerns me as well. But do you take the same amount of consideration into knowing how your veggies are grown, harvested and shipped?

Local topics of conversation lately have just hit the growing price concerns over meat. Unfortunately, most people do not pay attention to anything unless it’s right in their own neighborhoods. The southwest region of the US has seen massive drought conditions that have caused the national head count, reported recently by the USDA NASS report, to have hit a low not seen since 1952.

My personal opinion on beef is a little bit different. Yes, I do feel horrible for the cattle ranchers in that region and I do understand that many of them are losing the only way of life they have ever know. My opinion is that maybe now, farmers and ranchers will actually get paid a decent price for the food they produce.

If you want high quality meat and are willing to pay a fair market price to a local farmer, then please do so. Knowing and seeing how animals are raised and cared for should be part of your food choice conversations and THAT isn’t something your local supermarket can generally tell you.