This Ukrainian chicken dumpling soup, or galushki, is made by boiling a whole chicken to create a flavorful broth, then finishing the soup with easy flour dumplings, carrots, scallions, and dill. Make it for a loved one who’s ill, or as a cozy meal on a cold day.
Adapted from Olia Hercules | Mamushka | Weldon Owen, 2015
This is Ukrainian penicillin. My mum would always use an old boiling chicken, which can be a little tough, yes, but the flavor is incomparable. She would always make this if we were ill. Even though there is no scientific proof that chicken soup actually helps you get better, the love that comes with it definitely has a positive impact. The dumplings are simple, and it’s all a little stark, but the flavor is so pure. Give this one a go, especially when your loved one is ill, or when it’s cold and drizzly outside.–Olia Hercules
Ukrainian Chicken Dumpling Soup FAQs
As the author suggests, a large boiling chicken is best here for creating flavorful broth. If you only have a small chicken, the final broth may have a very mild flavor. In this case, you can stir in a little powdered bouillon to give the broth a boost.
This soup is a meal in itself, however, a loaf of warm crusty bread or a tray of Ukrainian garlic bread would always be welcome.
Ukrainian Chicken Dumpling Soup ~ Galushki
For the stock
- One (4- to 5-pound) chicken preferably a boiling chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 2 1/2 quarts cold water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 onion peeled but kept whole
- Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
For the dumplings
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 carrot peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 scallion thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- Crusty sourdough bread
Make the stock
- Place the chicken pieces in a large saucepan and cover with the water. Add the bay leaf and onion, season well with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce the heat to very low, skim off the scum, and leave to simmer until cooked through to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove the chicken from the broth, reserving the broth in the saucepan. Discard the onion and bay leaf. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the carcass and shred or chop it.
Make the dumplings
- In a medium bowl, use a fork to beat the egg lightly, then add the water and salt and gradually sift in the flour. Work into a paste.
- Bring the chicken stock to a simmer, then add the carrot and shredded chicken to the stock. Drop in teaspoonfuls of the dumpling paste and simmer until the dumplings float and the carrot is just tender, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.
- Serve with the scallion, dill, and a big hunk of crusty sourdough bread for dipping.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
While a good broth and pillowy dumplings may not be a direct path to peace, they can attenuate distress while nourishing the body and soul. This broth did just that. Not only is cooking my happy place, the making of the dumplings also offered a brief mind shelter. There was comfort and silent deference for the people and the place from where this soup originated.
I used a plain air-chilled grocery store chicken that weighed 1580 grams. My onion of choice was a sweet onion and my bay leaf was fresh from my kitchen bay laurel plant. I prefer white pepper in the cooking of soup so I keep some in a grinder for fresh grinding. I used 2 teaspoons of sea salt. After tasting the broth at the end of cooking the dumplings I added another 1/2 teaspoon. The seasoning was perfect. The finishing scallions and dill were a pleasing “wake up” for the broth.
This chicken soup is a delight. Along with it tasting great, I also enjoyed how little it required. I always throw in lots of aromatics but the simplicity of one whole onion intrigued me. I only had 3 legs and 3 thighs to work with, not a whole chicken. The flavor of the broth wasn’t quite hitting me with chicken so I ended up adding a dash of Better Than Bouillon, about 2 teaspoons. Personally, I didn’t find this to be an issue, because I didn’t have as much chicken as it required so it needed that helpful boost of bouillon.
I also didn’t have fresh dill on hand so I just added a tablespoon of dried dill when I added the carrot (I added 1 and a half carrots-which is slightly more than required because I wanted to), and dumplings, and it worked just fine. I never thought to add scallions to non-Asian chicken soup and now I’ll never not do that. The Ukrainians and I’m assuming rest of Eastern Europe are doing it right with that scallion addition.
The dumplings are so tiny and a great addition to the broth. I will definitely make this again! It’s a quick and delicious sick day chicken soup. With the little effort it requires, it’s a recipe everyone should have saved for when they’re under the weather.
Eating a bowl of this Ukrainian chicken dumpling soup along with a hunk of sourdough bread was like getting a giant warm hug on a snowy day! So simple, so unpretentious, yet so full of flavor.
Simmering a whole cut up chicken in 2.5 quarts of water along with only 1 onion and 1 bay leaf, surprisingly produced a really rich, golden broth in just about one hour. The chicken, which I shredded, was perfectly juicy and tender. Do season well with the sea salt. I initially used 2 tablespoons but did adjust again along the way. The dumplings proved effortless to make with only 4 ingredients. A teaspoon of the dumpling paste dropped into the boiling soup almost doubled in size when done. Next time, I may make them smaller or better yet, will double the recipe for the dumpling paste. Each bite deserves a dumpling!
The suggested toppings of a scallion and fresh dill are a must and in fact, I threw extra dill into the soup pot itself. There is nothing not to love about this galushki recipe. Move over old chicken noodle soup recipe. You have officially been replaced!
This simple, soothing Ukrainian galushki soup feels like a hug from a Grandma and would be the most perfect soup to eat if you’re under the weather. It produces a crystal-clear broth with deep chicken-y flavor.
I think the quality of the chicken matters a lot here. I couldn’t get a stewing or boiling chicken so I used a 6.5 pound organic roaster. Lots of golden, glistening schmaltz rose to the surface and I did my best not to remove it when skimming because there was just so much flavor there. Sometimes the simplest things really are the best!
Update, a few days post making this soup: I added a big squeeze of lemon to the soup. I’m sure this isn’t traditional, but it sure is delicious! A friend who is fighting a serious illness declared this one of the most comforting soups he’s ever had.
Originally published April 1, 2022
Wish I was closer to CT where David is dealing with Covid, to make this soup for him. Feel better soon, Sweetie!
Thank you, my dear Dottie!!