Chicken broth with basil dumplings

Matt Tebbutts light autumnal broth makes a deliciously simple dish that will feed 2 people for under £5
By Matt Tebbutt
Chicken broth with basil dumplings
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1.5 kg chicken
  • 1 heads celery, halved
  • 3 leeks, split lengthways
  • 3 carrots, split lengthways
  • 2 white onions, halved
  • a few bay leaves, thyme sprigs and stalks parsley
  • pinches black peppercorns
  • small bunch basil, stalks only (reserve leaves for dumplings and serving)
  • 125 ml white wine
  • handfuls young spinach leaves
  • 4 tomatoes, deseeded and diced
  • basil

For the dumplings

  • 100 g self-raising flour
  • 100 g shredded suet
  • 100 g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 30 g butter
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 tbsp basil
  • 2 eggs, beaten


1. Put the chicken in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, skimming off any scum that arises. (You can add some cold water to help this process along.)

2. When the stock is well-skimmed, add the celery, leeks, carrots, onions, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, parsley stalks, peppercorns, basil stalks and wine. Gently simmer for 60-80 minutes. (The slower the simmer, the clearer the finished stock will be.)

3. For the dumplings: combine the flour, suet and breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl.

4. Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan and sweat the shallot until soft, then add the garlic and cook for a further 1 minute. Add this mixture to the mixing bowl with the chopped basil and mix well.

5. Stir in the eggs to bind the mixture, then roll into balls about the size of small onions.

6. When the chicken is cooked, remove the pan from the heat and allow the chicken to cool in the stock.

7. When ready to serve, strain the cooking liquor into a clean saucepan and heat until simmering. Add the dumplings and cook for 25-35 minutes, depending on the thickness of the dumplings.

8. Joint the chicken and put into a serving dish on top of a handful of young spinach. Strain the broth again, stir in the diced tomatoes and ladle over the chicken. Add the dumplings and garnish with fresh basil.

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