We’re coming off a wonderful weekend in Door County with some close friends and their two sweet littles. It was so nice to not have a schedule, and just play each day by ear depending on naps, moods and the weather. Andy and Casey were frat brothers in college and Andy’s wife Lindsey and I have become good friends over the years – and boy how times have changed since we’ve started families! From tailgates and bar time to visiting petting zoo’s and early nights, the transition has been so much fun. They have two sweet blonde girls and Dane fits right in, sharing toys, picnics on the floor and hugs.
I’m not sure I’ve ever told you about The Farm, which is located between Sturgeon Bay & Egg Harbor in DC. If you’re local, it is the PERFECT place to take kids. During this visit, we say baby goats, piglets, tiny kittens, chicks and the most enviable vegetable and flower gardens I’ve ever seen. They reminded me of my mom’s parent’s farm, and made me totally nostalgic.
When we arrived home on Sunday, we were craving something hearty so I turned to the trusty old soup pot. I decided to try something totally new, and was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out. I combined my favorite easy dumplings with stew meat and veggies for a home run recipe.
Note: this makes a huge pot of soup – it’s great for leftovers and freezes like a dream.
What You Need for the Soup
- Approximately 3 lbs of stew meat (we just buy the prepackaged already cut up)
- 1 bunch of celery chopped
- 4-5 peeled and chopped carrots
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 large cloves of garlic minced
- 2-3 large tomatoes or 5-6 smaller tomatoes diced
- 1 cup peas
- 10 cups of water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tbsp montreal steak seasoning
- 3 beef bouillon cubes
What You Need for the Dumplings
- 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup 2% milk
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
Season your stew meat with salt and pepper, then brown in a large stock pot – approximately 5 minutes. The salt will help release the juices in the meat and that will help to flavor the soup broth. Once the meat is browned, remove and drain on a paper towel. Don’t forget, that juice that is leftover is super flavorful, so you can use that to sauté the onion, garlic and celery. Once those have softened, approximately 3-4 minutes, add your carrots, water, beef bouillon cubes and seasonings. Also add the meat back in and you can let this simmer until the vegetables are fork tender. We simmered this on low heat for 1.5 hours in order to allow the meat become really tender. I add in the peas towards the end of the cooking process, so they don’t get too mushy.
In the meantime, in a bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk milk and melted butter until blended. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened (do not overmix). Drop by rounded teaspoons onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet; set aside.
Drop dumplings on top of simmering soup, a few at a time. Reduce heat to low; cook, covered, 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of dumplings comes out clean (do not lift cover while simmering).
Guys, this stuff was delicious and SO filling. I didn’t need more than half a bowl for dinner and I was still full when we went to bed. Not the most healthy… but definitely worth it. Enjoy!