Scandinavian Broth with Scallop-Smoked Salmon Drop Dumplings

Ellen Silverman
These scallop dumplings with their chunks of smoked salmon are pure Scandinavia, especially when you float them in a broth flavored with dill and allspice. If only all the grand things in life came together this easily.

Cook to Cook: Seafood dumplings are notoriously tricky to make, but not these. Make sure all the dumpling ingredients are stone cold and use a light hand in folding in the cream and it will be a snap.

Broth:
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup minced shallots (8 large)
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into 1/8-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon allspice 
  • 8 cups Master Broth or Cheater's Broth 
  • 1/2 tightly packed cup fresh dill, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Dumplings (All ingredients need to be ice cold before assembly):
  • 7 ounces fresh sea scallops, chilled
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper  
  • 1/16 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 
  • 3 ounces hot-smoked salmon (such as alder-wood smoked, cooked through), chilled
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped and chilled
Final Seasoning:
  • 2 small lemons, each cut into quarters
1. Make the Broth: Place a food processor bowl, the steel blade, and a medium sized mixing bowl in the freezer. In a 6-quart saucepan, melt the butter for the broth over medium-low heat, add the shallots and carrots, cover and cook 3 minutes. Stir in the allspice and cook 1 minute. Blend in the broth with half of the dill. Raise the heat so the broth bubbles slowly, then cover and cook 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Set aside for an hour or two, or chill up to 2 days.

2. Make the Dumplings: Start the dumplings about 10 minutes before serving. Make sure all the ingredients are ice cold. In the food processor, puree the scallops with the egg white, cornstarch, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and lemon juice. The mixture should be absolutely smooth.

3. Break up the smoked salmon and add it to the processor; pulse several times so the salmon is broken into small bits and mixed into the puree. Turn into the chilled medium bowl.

4. Now for the key step to airy dumplings: fold in the cream so the mixture stays airy. With a spatula, gently fold a third of the cold whipped cream into the scallop mixture, taking care not to over mix. Fold in the rest of the cream.  

5. Bring the broth to a very gentle simmer then scoop up a mounded teaspoon full of dumpling puree. With a second teaspoon in your other hand, bowl side down, smooth the top of the puree so you've formed an oval. Ease it into the broth. Repeat until all the puree is used. Gently simmer the dumplings a few moments until they float -- they firm up very quickly. You want them just firm, but not hard.

6. Sprinkle the soup with the remaining quarter cup of dill and serve immediately. Pass the lemon wedges -- they give the soup a good tart finish.

From The Splendid Table's How to Eat Weekends by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift, Clarkson Potter 2011.

Prep time: 
40 minutes
Cook time: 
20 minutes
Total time: 
1 hour
Yield: 
Serves 6 to 8 and doubles easily

Top Recipes

How to make buttermilk good enough to drink

Diane St. Clair, author of The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook, provides butter to chefs like Thomas Keller. She also bottles the delicious by-product: buttermilk.