Cooking can be therapeutic. I say this as a general rule, because there are always exceptions. Such as when when I set things on fire (a word of advice, do NOT try to broil cashews, very very bad. I will expand on this later) or burn myself, and then cooking has the opposite effect on me. In an instant I have turned into a She-Hulk (minus the green epidermis and bulging muscles) that spews French profanity and tosses/throws dishes into the sink.
Today, however, was one of those days where cooking had a calming affect on me, even though the rest of my day caused me to briefly consider banging my head against the wall. Sometimes I work from home, and today was one of those days where I kept having to re-do my work because we have such a shitty software program. So by 1pm in the afternoon, I had still not made any progress. I took a brief break, shoved some re-heated stuffing in my mouth, and took my dog to the grocery store.
Fortunately for the grocery store, they had celery. I say THEM, because I am the she-hulk remember? I also picked up some good old diet Root Beer, chocolate, and popcorn. Sufficiently calm, I walked back home to start my work all over again.
In the late afternoon, I was only partially done my work. I took a break to make my turkey soup. I put on some Maritime tunes, got into my cooking groove and hummed away as I chopped up my veggies. The smell of the soup simmering and the freshly chopped cilantro was like inhaling endorphins. I quickly ate my bowl of soup while I worked, because I had to go to a swim try-out at 7pm.
I literally ran to the swimming pool complex at the other end of our island, only to find out that they made a mistake in the newspaper, and the swim team starts next Monday. Well, I maintained my zen-like demeanor (thanks to my turkey soup high) and ran home.
Turkey Soup with Cilantro Dumplings
Source: Adapted from Gordon Ramsay Makes it Easy
6 cups of stock (hopefully your home made stock from yesterday's recipe)
3 chopped carrots
3 diced celery stalks
1 leek chopped
1 onion chopped
2-3 ounces of cooked turkey or chicken cubed
1 inch piece of ginger peeled and smashed (use back of knife)
1 bay leaf
pinch of dried thyme or one fresh sprig
salt and pepper to taste
1 and 3/4 cup flour
1 cup vegetable shortening or suet
3 tbsp of finely chopped fresh cilantro
Saute leeks and onions in two tablespoons of butter. Add to boiling stock the onions, leek, carrots and celery. Simmer until soft. Add cooked chicken or turkey. Season with salt and pepper.
Mix flour, shortening, cilantro with a bit of water and stir to form soft dough. Shape into small balls and drop into boiling soup. Reduce heat and cover for 10-15 minutes until dumplings have doubled in size or float to the top.
Chef's Note: I did a half batch of this dumpling recipe and it was plenty of dumplings.