Austrian Cheese-Dumplings in Veggie Broth
It's cold? You have some left-over, somewhat stale, baguette? You are hungry? Well, there's a cure for all of that – well, not so much for the cold weather, but at least this recipe is going to make you feel all warm and happy inside.
Alas, even if you don't have any day-old baguette, this little dish won't disappoint: Simply use fresh bread and adjust the amount of milk used in the recipe. This dish is light, yet filling, it is quick and super easy to make (although there's some added time if you make your soup stock from scratch), it is delicious, and it is, of course, mostly beige.
The difficult and picky eaters on this side of the internet delight when they see this dish. A big smile lights up faces around here when my picky eaters walk into the house and detect the delicious scent wafting through every corner. And believe me, the Gruyere used for these dumplings emits a lovely scent when heated in a pan!
You know what – my face lights up, too. Not only because this dish looks good, smells good, and tastes good, but because it takes little effort to deliver a big pay-out. I love that it is filling without sitting heavy in my belly. I love how much energy this little soup packs – it can keep you going for a long time.
As I said above, you can make your own broth – and you will find the recipe for a quick and easy broth below. If you don't feel like it, you can also use your favorite store-bought variety. I prefer home-made broth but, just like you, I have lazy days or am hungry NOW, not in 30 minutes. So, if that's what you need to do, go for it – these dumplings will have you begging for more.
Be aware, though, that making your own broth is generally worth your time – it tends to taste better, has less sodium, you know what you are eating, it contains no artificial flavoring, and it's really easy to make. You can't help but feel good about it: It almost oozes health! Plus, all you need to do is throw a bunch of prepared veggies in some water, let it simmer for a while, remove the veggies, and you are done!
As an added bonus, you can freeze the left-over broth and use it in other recipes!
1 Garlic clove.
1 cup Mushrooms.
½ Celery Root.
3 sun-dried Tomatoes.
1 kernel of Allspice.
6 black Peppercorns.
2 Bay Leaves.
½ Tbs. Salt.
1 gallon Water.
2 cups Baguette, Chicago rolls, or crusty Hoagie rolls, cut into small cubes.
3 oz. Milk (if your bread is fresh)/ 5 oz. if it's from yesterday or before.
½ Onion, finely diced.
3 Tbs. Italian Parsley, finely chopped.
1 cup Gruyere, coarsely grated.
¼ tsp. Nutmeg.
1 Tbs. Ghee/Clarified Butter.
1 – 2 Tbs. Onion sprouts (or similar).
Let's get started:
Peel the onion and quarter it.
Peel the garlic and cut it in half.
Clean the mushrooms and cut them into slices.
Peel the parsnip and coarsely grate it.
Peel the carrots and coarsely grate them as well.
Trim the wilted parts off the leek, slice it in half lengthwise, wash it thoroughly, and cut into thin slices.
Coarsely chop the sun-dried tomatoes.
Put the allspice and the peppercorns into a pestle and crush them.
Put a large soup pot on the stove
Add the gallon of water.
Now add ALL the ingredients (even the ones you haven't touched yet).
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once the broth has simmered for 30 minutes, pour it through a strainer and into a second large pot to remove all the veggies.
Discard the veggies.
Adjust seasonings to your liking.
Quickly heat the milk in a microwave for about 30 seconds.
Put the bread cubes into a work bowl.
Pour the warm milk over the bread, mix it a bit with your hands, and let it soak.
Add 1 Tbs. of oil to a pan.
Heat over medium heat.
Add the chopped onions.
Let the onions soften, stirring frequently, for about five minutes.
Add the softened onions to the soaked bread (do NOT drain the milk out of the bowl).
Add the parsley.
Add the Gruyere.
Add the egg.
Add the nutmeg.
Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
Put a large non-stick pan on the stove and set it to medium heat.
Add the Ghee/clarified butter and let it melt.
With your hands, mix all the ingredients in the work bowl until they are well blended.
Form small, somewhat flat dumplings, and immediately add them to the melted Ghee. If find that I cannot pre-form them but rather, that I need to add each one to the pan as soon as it's formed. I usually end up with about six or seven dumplings – which all fit into the same pan, allowing me to fry one batch, only.
Fry the dumplings for about 3 minutes but make sure they don't burn.
Turn over and fry the other side for about three minutes – or until they are nicely browned.
Fill your favorite bowl with the broth, add two dumplings, and toss a few onion sprouts on top