Low Fat, Dairy Free Mushroom Soup

This soup is very comforting, especially for something that has no butter and cream. I am struggling with gallbladder problems, so I am trying to avoid fats and milk products to minimize the pain. I am getting really sick of chicken by now but still trying to make it palatable. This soup was actually delicious, I would love to eat it even if I were healthy.

Serves 4.

Ingredients:

3 cups sliced mushrooms
2 chicken breasts
2 carrots
1 white part of a leek
a small piece of celeriac (size of half an apple or so)
1/2 red bell pepper
1 stalk celery
1 chicken stock cube
1 cup unsweetened soy milk

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

optional: boiled pasta

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Method:

Put the raw chicken breasts in a pot half-filled with cold water and put on low heat. Let is warm up really slowly and after 20 minutes or so, use a sieve or a spoon to skim the protein from the top. It doesn’t taste bad but looks rather awful.

While the chicken is warming up, cube your veggies. Once you skim the broth, take the chicken out and also cube it. Add it back in the soup, together with carrots, celeriac, leek, celery, stock cube and pepper.
Let everything boil on medium heat until the carrots are almost done – around 20 minutes.
After that time, add the sliced mushrooms, spices and soy milk and cook for another 15 minutes.

Add in the cooked pasta just before serving if using.

Enjoy!

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My Polish Grandma’s Dinner: Kluski with Chicken

My Grandma turned 87 this year and she is still an avid cook. This recipe is a real comfort food for me. I’ve made it many  times in different ways, adding spinach to the dough and other variations but this is the very simple, basic recipe for the delicious ‘kluski’ dumplings. One amazing thing about them is that they don’t require for you to have some great manual skills, like many other dough dumplings. I have always loved their smooth, slightly chewy texture and very delicate flavour. If you like the Italian gnocchi you are likely to enjoy these Polish kluski as well.

kluski

The chicken that comes with them is really, really simple and maybe nothing special but I wanted to give you the real experience – this is my Grandma’s real recipe, how she made it for the last 50 years at least and at least two generations have already enjoyed it immensely. This amount feeds approximately 4 people for a light meal or 3 for a bigger meal.

 

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For kluski:

1 1/2 cup mashed potatoes leftover from last night’s dinner or cooked especially for this (if cooking especially for this, don’t forget to add salt)

1 egg

approximately 6 Tbsp potato flour (more about the amount in the recipe)

For chicken:

2 chicken breasts

1 Tbsp rapeseed oil

1Tbsp wheat flour

3 Tbsp single cream

1 Tbsp tomato puree

1/2 cup hot water from the kettle

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

salt & pepper to taste

 

First, cut the chicken meat into small pieces and add salt, pepper, paprika and garlic. Stir and leave in the fridge to marinate for 1 hour.

kluski

Next make the kluski the following way. Take the potato mash and spread it in the bottom of a bowl in the way pictured, so that it covers three quarters of the bottom with one quarter of the space empty.

kluski

Next, fill the empty space with potato flour. This is how it will always work, no matter how much potato mash you have exactly, if you follow this method, the kluski will always be delicious.

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Add 1 egg and mix well. Grandma says that there is no need for another egg until you’re cooking for 5 people and using more potatoes.

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Now form a dough ball and start making kluski with your hands. First roll them into balls and then flatten and make a little impression with your thumb in the middle. This will ensure they cook all the way through and they will have a delicious little well for sauce.

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Now, let the  kluski wait on a plate and back to the sauce. Heat the oil in a saucepan and put your chicken on it. Fry it until all meat becomes white and there are no more raw/pink pieces. Once you are sure the chicken is not raw, add 2 Tbsp cream, the tomato puree and water from the kettle. Stir so it doesn’t stick and let boil under a lid on medium heat for 15 minutes.

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In the meantime, boil a bigger pot of water for the kluski. Once the water is salted and boiling quite hard, place the kluski in it. They will all fall to the bottom but do not do anything and within minutes they will start popping back up to the surface. It’s quite a funny thing to watch because they never do it all at once. You can make bets on which one will be next. 🙂

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Once ALL of the kluski are swimming on the surface of boiling water, count 5 minutes and they should be perfect right about then. Try one if not sure. They should be soft and slightly chewy. Their texture should be very smooth and velvety.

To thicken the sauce surrounding chicken, put the remaining cream in a cup, add wheat flour and stir. Add to the boiling sauce and stir until well blended.

Serve the kluski with the sauce on top. I added some steamed broccoli.

 

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Enjoy this delicious, comforting meal.

 

 

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