3/4cupbuttermilkyou can also use whole milk and 1 TB of lemon juice. Squeeze the lemon juice into the milk and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
In a large soup pot, over medium-high heat, melt the butter.
Add the carrots, celery, and onion. Stir the vegetables into the butter. Cook the vegetables until the onions are translucent (approximately 7-9 minutes).
Add the garlic cloves and potato to the vegetables and cook for 1 minute. Add the thyme sprigs, bay leaf, salt, whole chicken, and chicken broth/water to the pot. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and allow the soup to simmer for an hour to an hour and half (depending on the size of your chicken). The chicken is done cooking when the leg easily pulls away.
Once the chicken and soup are cooked, carefully remove the whole chicken and place it on a large plate. Separate the meat from the bones. Remember to save the bones to make homemade broth.
Return the meat back to the soup and add 1 cup of frozen peas. Allow the soup to simmer as you mix the dumpling dough.
For the spelt dumplings, whisk together the spelt flour, fresh herbs, baking soda, garlic powder, and salt. Pour the buttermilk over the flour and gently mix the dough until the dry ingredients are wet (remember, don't overwork the dough). Drop a tablespoon of dough into the soup (I use this tool), one at a time.
Bring the soup to a slight boil and cover the soup pot. Cook the dumplings in the soup for 15 minutes.