2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut in ¼-inch cubes
⅓ cup cold milk
1 tablespoon minced parsley
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, and salt and cook for 4 minutes.
Add broth and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add spinach, bay leaf, thyme and chicken. Simmer for 15 minutes, covered.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, Parmigiano (if using), baking powder and salt. Cut in butter. Stir in milk and parsley, then gently knead the mixture into a ball of soft dough.
Dust a 10-inch piece of parchment paper with 1 tablespoon of flour. Add 2 tablespoons of flour to a small plate. Roll 2 teaspoons of dumpling dough into a tight ball, then roll the ball in flour and place on the parchment.
Lift up each dumpling and arrange them in the soup so that they are not touching. Do stir or mix them. Cook for 15 minutes on very low heat, covered. Serve immediately or let cool in the pot. The soup can sit out at room temperature in the plan for a few hours, reheat at mealtime.
Dust the dumplings with flour before adding to the stock. It will not only help to hold them together, but the flour that escapes into the soup will make it deliciously thick and creamy.
After rolling the dumplings, let them sit out for 5 minutes before dropping them in the soup.
I like to add a few tablespoons of Parmigiano Reggiano to the dumplings, but don’t necessarily go running out to buy it. The basic recipe is here: einkorn flour, baking powder, salt, butter, and milk.
The broth should be just simmering when you drop the dumplings in. A rolling boil will cause them to crack.
If you find your dumplings are chewy, you added too much flour. Use a baking scale to be precise, and cut back a tablespoon or two if you want very soft dumplings.
Adding chicken to the soup will make it a one pot meal, but when I serve this soup as a starter, I do not add meat.
The stock makes the soup, so go homemade. Turkey broth works great, too.