Last week I came down with something fierce. So fierce that I canceled my connecting flight home so I could get some rest in a Baltimore airport hotel for the night to regroup for my flight the following day. Eighteen hours later, I was so happy to be home that I could have kissed the ground in Charleston. While it was a balmy 70 degrees in Charleston last week, I was freezing thanks to my neverending low-grade fever, but I wanted soup.
Just like my Italian Wedding Soup, this Chicken Soup with Buttermilk Dill Dumplings is perfect to have around for the long, cold days of winter and all the illnesses that tend to pop up. It’s warm, comforting, and requires minimal effort thanks to my Instant Pot. Before my Instant Pot, a soup like this could take hours to simmer to get the chicken perfectly tender and the broth perfectly seasoned.
Not only is my method easy, but I use something special to make my dumplings. Pancake mix. Yep, good ol’ fashioned pancake mix, specifically the buttermilk kind for the fluffiest of pancakes. One day when I thought I had all of the ingredients to make this soup, I was entirely out of flour. However, what I did have is a giant box of buttermilk pancake mix. The mix has leavening ingredients to make them “rise” or “fluff up” when they cook. If you choose a pancake mix that also has dehydrated buttermilk, the dumplings will be super tender in texture. I could technically make dumplings from scratch and include regular buttermilk, but first of all, it’s easier and just as enjoyable to use the mix. And second, I always end up with a half-used buttermilk container, and it always feels wasteful.
Now since the buttermilk makes the dumpling fluffy, what can we add to buttermilk dumplings extra flavor? Why, dill, of course! Buttermilk was made to be paired with dill (hey, any ranch dressing lovers out there?), so naturally, I included some dried dill in the dumplings. A little goes a long way with dill in terms of flavor. The buttermilk dill dumplings add a nice punchy flavor to the soup.
Soups are also a great place to sneak in extra nutrition. For example, I threw in some hearty, winter greens like kale to add a nice dose of vitamins A, K, C, and B vitamins (B6 and B9 [folate]) as well as fiber. You can also up the fiber dose even more by using a whole-grain buttermilk pancake mix for the dumplings.
This recipe is tried and true in my household. So trust me when I say, you can’t mess this one up. It’s indestructible. It also makes a lot, so if you’re trying to do some batch cooking for meal prep, this is a perfect recipe.
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Chicken Soup with Buttermilk Dill Dumplings
- Total Time: 30-45 minutes
- Category: Soup
- 1 tbsp. oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 stalks of celery
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 1/2 lbs. chicken breast and/or thighs, boneless, skinless
- 6 cups of chicken stock
- 2 cups of buttermilk pancake mix
- 1 tsp. dill
- 2 tbsp. butter, melted
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 bunch of kale, chopped, stems removed
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat oil in Instant Pot on saute function. Add onion, celery, and carrots to oil and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and turn off saute function.
- Add chicken to Instant Pot. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken stock and cook on high pressure for 13 minutes. Quick-release the steam and pressure on the Instant Pot. Remove chicken from Instant Pot and shred meat. Set chicken aside.
- Add kale to the hot chicken stock and stir. Mix together pancake mix and dill in a mixing bowl. Add butter and milk and mix until just incorporated. Take a spoon and drop batter by the spoonful into the hot chicken stock. Seal up Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Quick-release the steam and pressure again.
- Add chicken back to soup and serve immediately.