This week’s theme is apparently television. After sucking dry every last bit of Revenge I could find last weekend, I just so happened to have a girl’s TV night with a couple of college friends this Monday. Not just any TV night either, but a Dawson’s Creek themed TV night (that might be the lamest sentence I’ve ever written). Dawson’s Creek held a lot of power over how I viewed the world in my late teens and early twenties. I blame it for [nearly] all of my overly-dramatic girl moments circa 2000-2008. Damn you, Joey Potter.
…but not really, cause I actually kind of love Joey Potter. And Pacey. Especially Pacey.
Early on in freshman year of college, a good friend and I discovered that we shared an equally embarrassing love of the teen drama; We knew every episode, we could quote the characters, and we even had Joey’s facial expressions nailed. Now, 8 years since we first bonded over our fascination, we finally have another friend who’s begun dabbling in Dawson’s life. When we got wind of our friend’s new Netflix go-to choice, we saw an opportunity for another [much needed] person to bond with over absurdly dramatic teen moments. For our Dawson’s Creek get-together, we decided to dive right into the heart of the drama when, at the end of season three, Joey and Pacey admit their feelings to each other (FINALLY OMG). This most-dysfunctional love triangle results with poor Dawson, that well-meaning boy with no lady luck whatsoever, getting dumped by his soul mate, and betrayed by his best friend.
With this theme in mind, we decided on a dinner of chunky vegetable soup topped with “Dawson’s Dumps.” Comforting and laden with puns, it seemed like the perfect meal to slurp up while watching Dawson’s heart get shattered into a million pieces…yet again.
Apart from ladling up some soup and dumps, the boy decided [shockingly] not to partake in Dawson’s Creek night, and instead watched football in the bedroom. He said that the cackles of girl laughter almost made it hard for him to concentrate on his man TV. Really though, what do you expect when you watch, rewind, watch, rewind, and watch again THIS scene?
My friend summed up the meal perfectly when she said, “That has to be the finest dump I’ve ever had.” Suffice it to say that the puns continued from when we dropped the dough in the boiling water until we watched Joey and Pacey fade away into the sunset.
The soup is hearty and comforting, but when you scoop up a creamy, cheesy, melting-into-the-broth dumpling, that’s where you truly fall in love. Yes, you fall in love, even as you watch Dawson’s world fall apart once again.
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 leeks, chopped
- 1 yellow squash, chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 bunch kale, large center stems removed, then chopped
- 1 14.5-ounce can cannelini beans
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 3 cups water
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 bunch parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 3 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon dijon
- 1 and ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small chunks
- 1 cup milk (I used skim and it turned out fine)
- ½ cup gouda cheese, shredded
- In a large pot, sauté the olive oil with the garlic over medium heat until fragrant, being careful not to burn it. Add in the leeks and cook for about 3 minutes, until soft. Add in the rest of the veggies (except the kale), turn the burner to medium-low, and cover the pot. Let the vegetables cook, stirring occasionally, until tender (about 8-10 minutes).
- While you're waiting for the veggies to cook down, get your dijon roux together: melt the butter in the microwave, then stir in the flour and dijon mustard.
- Once the vegetables are tender, pour in the roux, stock, water, kale, spices, salt, pepper, and parsley (reserving some for garnish). Cover and let simmer 20 minutes (or however long you have until dinner time), again stirring occasionally.
- As the soup simmers, prepare the dumplings. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and cornmeal in a medium-sized bowl. Cut in the butter, and use your hands to fully incorporate it until there are only pea-sized bits of butter remaining. Pour in the milk and the cheese, stirring with a fork until the wet and dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Drop the dumplings by half-tablespoon into the boiling water, cover, and reduce to a simmer for 7-9 minutes.
- Ladle up the soup, add a few dumplings to each bowl, and garnish with remaining parsley. Then sit yourself in front of the TV and dig into those dumps.