Veg scrap soup with leftover bread dumplings
You know how I keep telling you to save your veg scraps in the freezer? Here’s what to do with them! Everything from root vegetable peelings, to odds and ends you couldn’t grate without losing a fingertip (ie. carrot and parsnip nubs), celery bases, fennel stalks, leeks tops, onion and garlic skins, ginger stubs, denuded corn cobs (as well as husks and silks!) tomato tops and mushroom stems, parsley and dill stalks, combined with a couple of bay leaves and a teaspoon of peppercorns. If you don’t have a scrap bag pre-prepared, or you’re in a hurry, use a stock base, or add an extra brown onion, a couple of celery stalks, and a few mushrooms and you’re cooking on all cylinders. You’ll find further instructions for building stocks from scratch if you search my name and ‘stocks’ online. If you’ve got chicken soup handy in the fridge/freezer, feel free to use this instead. The dumplings are a lot like matza balls – just using leavened bread. You can use whatever savoury bread you’ve got – even matza, if you’re that way inclined. It’s basically 40g of bread to 1 egg. If you’ve got leftover dumplings, freeze them flat on a tray and reheat for 10-15 minutes in broth or water next time you’re in the mood for this delicious, restorative soup.PRINT
Veg scrap soup
- 500 g veg scraps a good bag’s worth
- 4 whole carrots
- 1 brown onion
- Dill/fennel fronds and extra virgin olive oil to serve
Leftover bread dumplings (makes 30 dumplings)
- 2 cups 160g stale bread torn
- 2 stock cubes
- ½ tsp salt flakes
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 4 eggs lightly beaten
- 75 g butter melted
- Place all of the veg scraps into a large stock pot along with the whole carrots and cover by a third with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour. Keep the lid off, as you want the stock to reduce and the flavour to intensify. Leave to cool a little before straining, then add back into a clean pot until ready to add the cooked dumplings, making sure to taste for seasoning. Remove the whole carrots and onions, slicing the carrots into discs and returning to the strained broth. If you’re an onion fan, slip off the skin and slice this finely, adding back into the broth too.
- In the meantime, to make the dumplings, check that your bread is dried out enough by pressing with a fingertip… if the indent stays, it’s going to need a slow oven for 1 hour at 120C (100C fan) to really draw out the moisture. Crumble the dried out bread into a food processor and blitz to make the breadcrumbs, add stock cubes, salt flakes, pepper and baking powder and blitz again until fine (a few chunks are ok too). Tip the dry mix into a bowl, add the beaten eggs and melted butter to the breadcrumbs and mix gently until combined. Place into the fridge for 30 minutes to bloom and firm up.
- Pop a large pot of salted water on high heat and bring to the boil, then roll the dumplings into walnut-sized pieces. When done and the water is boiling, turn down the heat to a simmer, and carefully add the dumplings, placing a lid on top and cooking for 35 minutes.
- Turn the broth pot back on and bring it to a simmer. Scoop the dumplings out of the cooking water and into the simmering broth, and continue to simmer together for 5 minutes.
- When ready to serve, place dumplings and carrot slices equally into bowls with some fresh fronds and sprinkle over freshly cracked pepper and a drizzle of olive oil to finish.