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I’ve been battling a cold on and off for weeks. Just when I think it’s gone, I wake up to a stuffy nose and headache. Needless to say, I haven’t had much energy to cook, but fortunately my trusty slow cooker is on stand by. I prep the ingredients in the morning, throw them in the pot and go. Knowing a hot, delicious meal is waiting for me keeps me going through the day.

Though I used chicken, another cut of meat would work nicely here. Think brisket, turkey breast, etc. But, if you opt for poultry, make sure you use bone-in, so your meat stays nice and tender. As always, the veggies and herbs I’ve suggested are guidelines – use whatever you like.

For the soup
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
½ pound (3-4) carrots, chopped
3/4 pound chicken breast or thighs, bone in
4 cups chicken stock (water will also work just fine)
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups frozen peas
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley

For the roux:
2 tablespoons of butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the dumplings
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoon cold butter, cut into pea sized pieces
⅔ cup milk

1. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, bay leaf, dill, chicken, stock, salt and pepper to the slow cooker. Cook on high for four hours – or on low for eight hours.

2. After cooking, remove the chicken from the crock pot and shred. Discard the bones. Return the chicken to the pot and stir in peas, sage and parsley. Adjust seasonings if necessary and set heat to high.

3. Make your roux: in a small bowl, mix butter and flour together to combine. Add a ladle of broth to the roux and stir til flour is totally dissolved. Pour entire mixture back into the crock pot and stir.

4. Mix the dumpling batter: combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and stir until the mixture resembles damp sand. Finally, add in the milk and work until a dough forms. Add more milk or flour – a tablespoon at a time – to adjust consistency if needed.

5. Drop the dough a teaspoon at a time into the crock pot, then allow to steam for 20 minutes.

Dish into bowls and serve hot. This