Vegetable Soup with Bacon Dumplings

Monday 21 January 2013

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 It's still snowing although it's not quite as cold as it was.  If this stuff freezes those roads are going to be treacherous!  It's definitely the type of day you want to spend indoors next to the fire!

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 I know all you North Americans think we Brits are cold weather wimps . . . and maybe we are.   But in all fairness . . . we just don't have the insulation and heating systems that y'all are used to in North America, and it is a lot damper here!

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I took a gathering from the leftovers on my Vegetable Bin today and created a lovely soup from them.  Rib sticking and heart warming . . . with lovely carrots, parsnips and swede (rutabaga) . . . fantastic root vegetables that have beautiful sweet properties, especially when you sweat them down with butter.

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Added to the mix are wonderful aromatics . . . onions, leeks . . . celery, with a touch of fresh sage leaves.   It's sounding pretty good so far isn't it?   But just wait . . . it gets even better . . .

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I've added the luxury of stodgy bacon, sage and suet dumplings . . . oh so wonderfully filling and fabulously delish.   Seriously.   The soup on it's own is rich and brothy . . . filled with lots of cubed vegetables . . . and these spectacularly scrummy dumplings.   Oh my . . . it goes down a real treat.

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Soup.  Vegetables.   Dumplings . . . BACON dumplings no less.   What more could a body want on a cold winter's day?   Not much . . . not much . . . so, what are you waiting for???   Get cooking!

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*Vegetable Soup with Bacon Dumplings*
Serves 6
Printable Recipe

A delicious filling soup.  Perfect for a cold winter's day.

2 TBS butter
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 leek, diced, white and green parts kept separately
3/4 pound of swede, peeled and diced
3/4 pound of parsnips, peeled and diced
3/4 pound of carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery sticks, diced
3 to 4 sage stems
2 1/2 litres of chicken stock (10 1/2 cups)
salt and black pepper

100g of self raising flour (1 cup)
1/2 tsp English mustard powder
2 tsp finely chopped sage
50g of vegetable suet (1/4 cup)
2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
4 TBS cold water

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Melt the butter over medium low heat in a large saucepan.   Add the onion and white part of the diced leeks.   Saute about 5  minutes, until beginning to soften, without colouring.   Add the remainder of the vegetables and sage.   Toss in the butter, then cover and sweat for about 10 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.   Pour on the stock, season to taste with salt and black pepper and bring to the boil.  Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes until the vegetables are tender.  Adjust seasoning as needed.

To make the dumplings whisk together the flour and mustard powder.  Stir in the sage, suet and bacon with a bit of salt and pepper to taste.  Gradually stir in the water with a spoon, then using your hands to squeeze it together to make a smooth dough.   Using your hands shape into 18 balls by gently rolling between your hands.

Stir in the remaining green diced leeks.  Add the dumplings.  Recover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes until the dumplings are light and fluffy.  Ladle into bowls and serve immediately.

Note:   If you wanted to make this vegetarian, you could use vegetable stock and add gnocchi dumplings instead of the bacon suet ones. Or you could leave the bacon out of the dumplings and replace it with something nutty like chopped walnuts, and a bit of crumbled cheese, such as a creamy Stilton.   Sounds gorgeous already!


  1. Sounds so good. It's getting colder here by the second and a hot pot of soup would be the perfect meal tomorrow.

  2. Oh my, sounds glorious!
    And we are having sub-zero
    temps, so the timing for this
    recipe is spot on. Thank you!!!

    xo Suzanne

  3. Your soup looks so good. I love dumplings, though have never made them! My mum used to make the most fantastic stews with dumplings mash potato and greens. Its so quiet here uk, it snowed all day Sunday, its now Monday and no one is going out this morning, no kids going to school, no cars leaving for work! x

  4. Oh, my goodness, Marie....bacon dumplings--are you kidding me?!?!? My family would scream with joy if I made those...guess I'd better do it!

    Hope your weekend was glorious, dear friend, and sending so much love your way...


  5. Is the bacon pre-cooked? 10 minutes steaming doesn't seem like it would be enough to cook raw bacon inside a dumpling.

    And a second question. We don't have self-rising flour--do you have a favourite way of making this yourself?

    Thank you so much! :)

  6. Natalia, to make your own self raising flour, for every cup of flour add 1 1/4 tsp of baking powder and 1/4 tsp of salt. Also the bacon cooks perfectly as it is finely chopped. There is no worries there. If you are really bothered you could partially cook it first before mincing, but there is really no need. Hope this helps!

  7. Bacon dumplings- genius idea! I need those in my life!

  8. I made this today and everyone loved it! :) We didn't have the same herbs on hand so I used basil in the dumplings, fresh parsley in the soup, different veggies, precooked the bacon, used real suet, made my own self-rising flour as per your recipe in the a few changes! But basically the same. One thing I noticed caused me a little concern over whether I was doing it right was the size of the dumplings. It would have been nice to have a rough size of dumplings as a guide. I tripled the recipe so it didn't really work to just count them. We made them about 3/4 inch across and they worked fine. Having the bacon in was "genius" as the above commenter said. Also loved that it was soup instead of stew as stew always seems to burn while the dumplings are cooking and you can't stir.

    Thank you! :)


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