minestrone soup with parmesan dumplings

i love finding new soup recipes that taste delicious.  it's hard...as david always says, "it's so hard to develop flavor with homemade soup and it's so true."  i think that i did it with this recipe.  tell me what you think. parmesan dumplings:

before making the soup, mix up the batter for the dumplings, and chill it, giving it time to glue together a bit.  mix 1 cup bread flour, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon dried parsley, 1 tablespoon chives, freshly ground black pepper, and 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan in a medium bowl.  in a smaller bowl,  mix 1 egg, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 1/2 cup milk.  make a well in the center of your flour mix, and while stirring if possible, add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients, mixing until the lumps disappear.  put in the fridge.

for the minestrone: 

in a large soup pot, add 1/2 cup olive oil.  over medium high heat, saute 1 large chopped onion, 10 cloves of minced garlic, 1 diced red pepper, sliced to ribbons 6-8 baby carrots, and 2 large ribs of chopped celery for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.   add 2 zucchini chopped into coins and 1 8-ounce package of sliced mushrooms and cook another 3 minutes, until mushrooms begin to soften.  next, add 1 large bunch of coarsely chopped kale, stir, cook one minute more.  add 1/2 cup red wine (open a good bottle because you will want to drink the rest with dinner) and turn heat to high for 2 minutes, until it has reduced a bit.  next, add 10 cups of water, 1 large can chopped/crushed tomatoes, 2 small cans tomato paste , 2 tablespoons freshly minced parsley, 3 tablespoons freshly minced chives, tons of freshly ground black pepper, 2 cans of rinsed and drained cannelini beans, 1 can rinsed and drained garbanzo beans, a handful frozen chopped green beans, and 1 tablespoon kosher salt;  stir well, and bring to a simmer. 

cover and cook 20 minutes, until all the veggies have softened.  taste. i am very bad about tasting while i cook, but with soup it really is a must because you will probably need to add a little salt at this point - and maybe a dash of sugar to bring out the sweetness of the green beans.

now, dumpling time:

it's almost always best to cook dumplings in the soup you're eating them with (just be prepared for the cloudiness that they may create in your broth) because they absorb all the awesome flavors you've been creating.  so, it's time to grab the dumpling batter from the fridge.  with a large, round spoon, moisten one hand, and while the soup is gently simmering, drop one spoonful of batter at a time onto the top of the soup, using your moist finger to push it off of the spoon.  quickly form the rest of the dumplings in this same way and then cover your pot again.  simmer 8-10 minutes more, or until the dumplings have just solidified in their middles.

to serve, ladle a chunk of dumpling into the middle of a bowl and spoon soup all around.  a little extra grated parmesan cheese on top is always nice.  serve with crunchy green salad.