Cozy Mushroom and Dumpling Soup

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What perfect timing! Travis’s Snowed Inn kit from Raddish Kids arrived just as we’re set to receive a winter snowstorm of over a foot. So of course we needed to dive into these recipes aimed at maximum winter coziness. First up was this hearty bowl of soup for dinner as the first flakes started to fall.

Travis loved so many steps of this recipe, particularly peeling the carrots!

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For the soup:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons Earth Balance butter
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 portobello mushroom caps, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups vegetable broth

For the dumplings:

  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter
  • 2/3 cup plain soy milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/3 cups flour
  1. To prepare the soup, melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, carrot, celery, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook for 10 minutes, until the veggies are soft.
  2. Stir in the mushrooms, garlic powder, thyme, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook for 1 minute. Stir in 1/4 cup flour.Chicken and Dumplings (4)
  3. Add the water and vegetable broth; bring to a boil, then continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the dumplings. Travis was in charge of microwaving 2 tablespoons butter for 30 seconds, until melted.Chicken and Dumplings (5)
  5. Add the soy milk, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining flour, stirring just until combined. Here’s Travis’s delight when he learned we were going to plop this dough right into the saucepan to make dumplings!Chicken and Dumplings (6)
  6. Scoop out about 1 tablespoon batter and scrape into the soup with a second spoon. Continue with the remaining batter. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

To complete our cozy evening, Travis took the recipe card’s winter weather quiz as we dined, and learned about other types of dumplings from around the world.

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‘Let It Snow’ Winter Town

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Here’s a fun way to make a winter playset for kids, especially on days when it’s too cold to really go outside and play.

The first step is to paint toilet paper tubes white; the more tubes you have, the bigger your town will be! I considered having Veronika join in for this step of the project, but then decided to paint the night before so she wouldn’t have to wait for it to dry in the morning. I covered 4 tubes with white paint but then ran out and had to use sparkly silver on a few instead.

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In the morning, the kids helped set up the rest of this little town. First we decorated the tubes with marker to make windows and doors. Veronika loved proudly scribbling.

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Big brother Travis was very deliberate with his architectural features.

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He was particularly proud of this triangular window!

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For rooftops, we glued on white coffee filters (which I  had to trim slightly to fit). White cupcakes liners would work for this step, too.

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For snowy streets, I showed the kids how to pull cotton balls apart slightly so they were light and fluffy, just like snow on the ground. You might even consider piling a few cotton balls together to make “snowmen”!

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It was time to make our town sparkle with snow. Veronika wanted to use glitter glue and I only had purple, which spoiled the look slightly. But then we sprinkled over it with white glitter!

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Now it was a sparkly, snowy scene!

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Veronika loved adding play figures to wander in the streets of town. We included some seasonally-appropriate toys from her advent calendar, like a small Christmas tree and snowman.

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She loved the way the soft cotton balls felt, and also enjoyed putting her toy people inside the tube houses. I guess they were staying cozy and warm!

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What will go in your winter town? Please share in the comments!