Your Fall Soups Will Be Cozier With A Frozen Secret Ingredient

As fall sets in, our craving for cozy, comforting soups intensifies. Served in steaming bowls, these soups nourish both body and soul. From brothy varieties like classic chicken noodle soup to thicker options like lobster bisque, there's a soup for every preference and taste.

However, sometimes a brothy soup alone isn't quite satisfying enough, especially on those chilly autumn days when you're craving something warm and hearty. In that case, consider adding a delightful twist to your culinary creations: frozen dumplings. Stuffed with everything from vegetables to meat to seafood, these bite-sized Asian dumplings elevate your brothy soups to dazzling new heights, infusing them with a unique blend of textures and flavors, along with additional protein to keep you satisfied throughout the day. They work particularly well in thin, broth-based soups, where you can boil them directly, but you can also cook them separately before adding them to thicker soups.

Using dumplings with brothy soups

Available in pretty much every Asian market and most mainstream grocery stores, frozen dumplings come in a dizzying array of fillings and flavors. A well-stocked market may offer dozens of varieties, ranging from purely vegetarian options like mushroom and cabbage to every conceivable combination of vegetables and protein. These frozen gems are fantastic additions to broths because they cook quickly without requiring defrosting, making them a fast and convenient way to add substance to your soup.

For instance, tender, thin-skinned wonton dumplings, typically filled with a blend of ground pork and shrimp, are perfect companions to chicken or vegetable broths — especially when you add slivers of green onion. Miso soup, a staple in Japanese cuisine, can be elevated with the addition of frozen gyoza. Usually made with pork and cabbage, these dumplings create a fusion of flavors in which the umami-rich miso broth perfectly complements the savory fillings of the dumplings.

Dumplings and thicker soups

If you're interested in using frozen Asian dumplings in your soup, prepare your soup base as usual, ensuring it's seasoned to your liking and simmering gently. Add the frozen dumplings during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Once they start floating on the surface, they are properly cooked.

Another type of soup well-suited for frozen dumplings is the thicker variety with a smooth, homogenized texture. For example, pork and shrimp wontons can be perfect companions to a lobster bisque, and meat and vegetable dumplings pair well with cozy tomato soups. However, due to the thicker consistency of these soups, it's recommended to cook the dumplings separately before combining them for serving. Simply place the dumplings in a pot of boiling water, and they will cook within minutes. Strain the dumplings from the water and place them in the serving bowl. Ladle your soup over them and garnish with any herbs and vegetables you desire.