Chicken soup with dumplings

A GREAT WAY TO START: Chicken soup with dumplings. (Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times)


Total time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Servings: 12

Note: Adapted from a recipe by chef Todd Aarons of Tierra Sur. Ask your kosher butcher in advance to grind the chicken if you don't have a grinder at home, as well as for chicken back bones for the stock. Persian limes (lemon omani) are available at select Iranian and Middle Eastern markets, as well as online at and Matzo cake flour is available at kosher markets. If you follow Sephardic tradition, you may garnish the soup with English peas.

1 1/2 pounds chicken back bones

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 large onion (halved lengthwise), ends removed and halved again lengthwise

1 rib of celery cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces

1 medium carrot cut crosswise into quarter-inch-thick slices

1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric, or to taste

2 dried Persian limes (lemon omani), crushed open (this can be done under a kitchen towel)

3/4 teaspoon dried mint

4 boneless chicken thighs with skins, ground (about 3/4 pound)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 medium Spanish onion, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, or to taste

1/4 cup matzo cake flour

Kosher salt

1/2 cup fresh whole baby spinach leaves