If you’re familiar with the classic chicken and dumplings soup, then you’re not far off with this vegetarian version. You know we love a meatless version of classic soup recipes!
This, too, is creamy and cozy with soft, fluffy dumplings, and all without the chicken. It’s still completely savory and one of my favorite go-to vegetarian soup recipes when I need ultimate comfort on cold nights.
What are the dumplings made of?
First things first, this vegetarian dumpling soup has soft, fluffy, biscuit-like dumplings, not gyoza or Asian-style dumplings that have a savory filling inside a dough wrapper.
These dumplings are made with a mixture of flour, baking powder, butter, and herbs. The baking powder in these dumplings is what gives them their lift and results in a light and fluffy texture.
The dough cooks in the simmering soup, resulting in little balls of deliciousness; kind of like dipping bread in your soup, but better. Similar to the texture of drop biscuits, they pair wonderfully with the creamy soup base.
Ingredients You’ll Need
When it comes to making creamy dumpling soup, this recipe has simple ingredients that result in a hearty, soul-warming soup. What could be better?! Here’s what you’ll need for the soup:
- Mirepoix: an evenly diced mixture of onion, celery, and carrots makes for the most wonderful soup base.
- Potatoes: I recommend using Yukon Gold Potatoes – they require no peeling with their tender, waxy skin and hold their texture when simmered in soup.
- Leeks: mild, slightly sweet, and rounding out the aromatics. Be sure to check out how to clean leeks before you start.
- Garlic: well, of course!
- All-Purpose Flour: this helps to thicken the creamy soup and results in that luxurious texture.
- Herbs: I highly recommend using fresh herbs for the most flavor in this soup. Because we have simple ingredients, the flavor comes mostly from them. I use fresh rosemary and thyme for comforting winter flavors. Fresh parsley is added at the end for brightness, too. A bay leaf is added for depth of flavor, too!
- Nutmeg: it adds a little je ne sais quoi, contributing to a depth of flavor without being overpowering or really even being able to identify what gives it that flavor.
- Vegetable Stock: the liquid base for the soup. You could technically use water if you don’t have any vegetable broth, but this adds so much flavor!
- Half-and-Half: hello, creaminess! Be sure it’s room temperature or lukewarm so that it doesn’t curdle when added to the hot soup.
- Frozen Peas: a pop of color and sweetness, using frozen veggies makes it easy-peasy!
How to Make Vegetarian Dumpling Soup
This recipe is super easy – yes, even the dumplings part. Maybe especially the dumplings part! So never fear…it comes together quickly and is pretty hands-off.
First, mix the dumpling dough.
The most important thing to remember when mixing a biscuit-like dough is to be careful to not overmix it.
Begin by stirring together the dry ingredients to make sure they’re incorporated. This step helps make sure the dough isn’t overmixed once we add the wet ingredients.
Now, cut in cold butter. Cutting in butter means working the butter into the dry ingredients as small pea-sized pieces are formed. You can do this using a pastry blender, two forks, or even your hands to work the butter into the flour mixture.
Then, gently stir in half-and-half until just combined. Set the dough aside to let it rest while you prepare the base of the soup.
Make the Creamy Soup
The soup base starts by sauteeing the aromatics so they begin to become tender and release all of their flavor. In goes onion, celery, leek, and carrot into melted butter for a few minutes (photo 1).
Be sure to start layering in the salt at this point. That means a pinch here and a pinch there. Salt will continue to bring out the flavors of each ingredient.
Next, add in the diced potatoes (photo 2), then the garlic, and herbs, and finally the flour. Stir the flour into the vegetables and cook it for a few minutes, continuing to stir so it doesn’t burn, but cooks the raw flour (photos 3-4).
Stir in the vegetable stock and bring the entire mixture to a boil, then dollop the dumplings around the pot using two spoons or an ice cream scoop (photos 5-7). Cover the pan and reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes until the dumplings are floating on the top (photo 8).
No peeking for at least the first 10-12 minutes so the steam remains in the pot to steam the dumplings!
Check the dumplings by cutting them in half. They should have air bubbles and have the texture of a soft biscuit. If gummy, continue to simmer for 2-3 more minutes.
Stir in the frozen peas, warm cream, and parsley, and remove the bay leaf. Don’t forget to taste test for salt and pepper levels! Then it’s time to enjoy!
Storage – Reheating – Freezing
Store any leftover soup in the fridge for 3-4 days. And then to reheat, you can do so slowly on the stovetop, stirring occasionally. Or, you can reheat in the microwave, again stirring occasionally to reheat evenly.
This creamy vegetable and dumpling soup also freezes well – yes, even with the dairy I have had success! Freeze in Souper Cubes for super easy storage.
I recommend reheating this frozen soup slowly and stirring often to prevent the cream from separating. If it does, you can still enjoy the soup, it just looks a little different.
I haven’t tried it with this recipe specifically, but in the soup you could give a can of full-fat coconut milk a try, as I use in my vegetarian potato soup. In that case, I’d try a plant-based milk in the dumplings. As I said, I haven’t tested this myself, so please leave a comment if you do give it a try!
I haven’t tested this with 1:1 gluten-free flour, but would love to hear if you give it a try!
Yes, feel free to mix up the veggies in the soup depending on what you have. You could add frozen corn or green beans, or add in broccoli with the potatoes. Mushrooms would be another hearty option, too, just add them with the mirepoix so their liquid can simmer out.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe Creamy Vegetable Soup with Dumplings
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced (1 medium)
- 1 cup diced celery, (2-ish stalks)
- 1 cup diced carrots, (2-3 whole carrots)
- ½ lb Yukon gold potatoes, small half-inch dice (approx. 2 medium)
- 1 cup leeks, white and light part, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- ½ cup half and half, room temperature or lukewarm
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Dumplings: In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and dried parsley until combined. Cut in diced cold butter using a dough blender, fork, or your hands, until a small pea-sized mixture forms. Gently stir in the half-and-half until just combined. Set aside.
- Soup: In a large stockpot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, leek, and carrot, and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add diced potato and cook for 3-4 additional minutes. Add garlic, sauteeing for 1 minute, then stir in the flour, rosemary, and thyme, cooking for 1-2 minutes continuously stirring so the flour doesn’t burn.
- Add bay leaf and nutmeg, then stir in vegetable stock until completely combined. Bring the soup to a simmer, then drop approximately 2-3 tablespoons worth of dumpling dough evenly around the soup. Cover and reduce heat, so the soup is at a simmer. Keep the lid closed at least for 10 minutes before peeking, so the dumplings can steam.
- The dumplings should cook for about 15 minutes, depending on their size (if bigger, you'll need a few more minutes, if smaller, a few minutes less). You can remove a dumpling and look at the inside texture; it should have some air bubbles and a drop biscuit-like consistency. If gummy, give it a few more minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf, then stir in the frozen peas and warm half-and-half, heating until the peas are warmed through. Add parsley. Be sure to taste test for salt levels, too! Serve, and enjoy. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.