SOUPSONG HAS GONE HARDCOPY!
(Danish meatball and dumpling soup)
This soup is traditionally served following religious confirmation ceremonies for young teenagers in the spring--but it is popular for many other special occasions as well. It's a marvelous soup: very tasty, very pretty, and with a great contrast of textures. Imagine a soup plate filled with a pure, clear beef broth, then mentally fill it with buttery dumplings and tiny meatballs, accented by bits of carrots and sweet baby peas. It may look complicated to make, but in fact it isn't--it just takes making the dumplings and meatballs a bit in advance, then it's a snap to assemble at the last minute...like, if you're rushing in from church after witnessing the confirmation of your 13-year-old daughter! Serve hot to 8 people as a first course.
STEP ONE: MAKE THE MEATBALLS
When ready to cook the meatballs, bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a large pot. Season liberally with salt. With a small teaspoon, shape and drop 40 small ground meatballs into the boiling water and let cook for 4-5 minutes. Strain out with a perforated spoon, let drain until dry from a sieve. If you aren't going to assemble immediately, store in the refrigerator--but take them out in time to bring to room temperature for the final assembly (or be prepared to gently nuke them in the microwave).
STEP TWO: MAKE THE DUMPLINGS
Start 2 inches of water to a boil in a large pot and season well with salt.
After the dumpling dough is cooled, beat in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, until the dough is satiny. Then, when the water is at a medium boil, use two small spoons to make and drop 40 dumplings into the water. When you have finished and the water begins to boil up, pour 1/4 cup cold water into the pot to stop the boiling. When it comes to a strong boil again, pour in another bit of cold water. And, again, for the third time pour in cold water when it returns to strong boil. At this point, the dumplings should be firm and completely cooked. Lift out of the water and allow to drain in a sieve. If you aren't going to assemble immediately, drain them completely, then store in the refrigerator--but take them out in time to bring to room temperature for the final assembly (or be prepared to gently nuke them in the microwave).
STEP THREE: MAKE THE BROTH AND ASSEMBLE THE SOUP
When getting close to final assembly, make sure the dumplings and meatballs are out of the refrigerator and getting close to room temperature. Bring the stock to a boil in a large saucepan and stir in the carrots. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the baby peas. Cook for 5 more minutes.
Set out the soup bowls and arrange 5 meatballs and 5 dumplings in each one. When the broth is ready, ladle over each of the bowls and top each with chopped chervil. Serve immediately.
This recipe is adapted from Beatrice Ojakangas' Scandanavian Feasts.