This Vegetarian Dumpling Soup is comfort food at its best! If you're looking for a Vegetarian Chicken and Dumplings recipe, look no further! A broth packed with flavour, chickpeas for protein, and fluffy dumplings baked right in the soup, this recipe will have you feeling all the feels.
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I polled my readers and asked what kind of recipes they wanted to see more of on HNL and one thing that came up over and over again is vegetarian comfort food that is not only healthy but satisfying as heck. Challenge accepted, my friends.
This Vegetarian Dumpling Soup recipe is about as comforting as I can think of, especially in the cooler months.
I didn't grow up eating chicken and dumplings, so I can't attest to the authenticity of this recipe. In fact, I'm positively sure it's highly inauthentic, but I'm hoping the deliciousness will make up for it.
I will say that it took me many test batches to come up with this recipe. I decided to replace the chicken with chickpeas for a Vegetarian Chicken and Dumplings kind of riff, much like in my Chickpea Noodle Soup recipe. Well it turns out when you replace chicken with chickpeas you need to do a lot to build up layers of flavour.
The good news is, I finally cracked it! Going heavy on the aromatics, deglazing the pan with white wine, and adding a smoky touch with smoked paprika all were contributors to the rich flavour - and then one day when I was eating a particularly bland bowl from a failed batch I had the idea to mix in a secret ingredient (more on that below!) to try and save the broth, and lo, I had finally hit the flavour jackpot.
That, coupled with impossibly fluffy dumplings that cook right in the broth and you've got a cozy, carby, veggie-loaded Veggie Chicken and Dumplings riff that I hope you'll love as much as we do in the HNL house.
Time to gather up your ingredients, my friends! Here's what you'll need for your Vegetarian Dumpling Soup. You'll find specific quantities in the printable recipe card at the end of this post:
- Chickpeas --> Canned are fine, or you can use my Instant Pot Chickpeas if you prefer.
- Potatoes --> For that stew-like quality.
- Carrots --> A couple of big ones diced up.
- Celery --> The soup superstar.
- Onion --> For building flavour.
- Garlic --> And lots of it!
- Bay leaves --> More flavour.
- Dried parsley and thyme --> Flavour.
- Smoked paprika --> FLAVOUR!
- White wine --> To deglaze the pan.
- Vegetable broth --> I use store bought.
- Nutritional yeast --> The secret ingredient!!!
- Frozen peas --> Because why not?
- Flour --> For making a roux.
- EVOO --> As one does.
And then for the dumplings...
All-purpose flour --> This is your base.
Baking powder --> For lift.
Dried parsley --> Optional but delicious!
Melted butter --> Or your fat of choice.
Milk --> To bring it all together.
I recommend a nice heavy-bottomed pot for this recipe. I love to use my Le Creuset Dutch Oven, but any large heavy pot with a lid will do just fine.
How to make Vegetarian Dumpling Soup
You will find step-by-step instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post, but let's take a quick look step by step.
First up, make your dumpling batter (photo above). All you. need to do is whisk your dry ingredients together with a fork, and then drizzle in the melted butter and milk.
The dough should be shaggy and slightly thicker than pancake batter, but it should still drop easily from your fork.
Now it's time to make your soup base! Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot, and brown the onions and garlic.
Add in the carrots, celery, potato, and spices, and sauté them for a few minutes to take the raw edge off.
Then you're going to pour in your white wine, and scrape all the flavourful browned bits off of the bottom of your pot. This is called deglazing the pan, for you word nerds.
Now pour in your vegetable broth, along with the nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, and the chickpeas. Give it a good stir and then bring your soup to the boil.
Now it's time for the dumplings! Reduce the heat to a simmer, and using a couple of spoons or forks, drop heaping tablespoons of batter into the soup. Make sure your dumplings are spaced out so they're not touching.
Note - you should have enough batter for 10-12 good-sized dumplings.
Now cover the soup with a heavy lid and set a timer for 15 minutes. Don't be tempted to peek!
When the soup is done the dumplings should be floating and the vegetables tender. I usually test one dumpling to make sure it's cooked through - it should be nice and fluffy in the middle.
Now add your frozen peas and stir through. Remove the soup from the heat, and spoon the soup into bowls with a couple of dumplings per bowl.
Garnish with fresh parsley, and you are good to go!
Pro tips / recipe notes
This soup has a lot of veggies in it, so I recommend you get all of your chopping done up front. That way, when you start actually making the soup, it'll come together really quickly. You can even do your chopping a day in advance and keep the veggies in an air-tight container in the fridge.
Does this soup reheat well? It sure does! Since I made many (MANY) test batches of this recipe, I ate Vegetarian Chicken and Dumplings for lunch for weeks on end. I would typically reheat it in the microwave, which worked great.
Can you freeze vegetarian dumpling soup? While most of my soups freeze like a dream, I have not tested freezing this recipe as I'm not convinced that the dumplings would freeze and reheat well. You can certainly freeze the soup base without the dumplings, bring to a simmer, and add the dumplings then.
Can I use a different flour for the dumplings? HNL regulars know that I love a good wholegrain flour, but I do NOT recommend going that route for this recipe. Trust me, I tested making whole wheat and spelt flour dumplings, and they were not nearly as good as the all-purpose flour version.
Can I make vegan dumpling soup? You sure can! The only non-vegan components of this recipe are the milk and butter in the dumpling batter, so simply replace them with melted vegan butter or olive oil, and a plant-based milk of your choice to make vegan dumplings.
Can I make this in the Instant Pot? I did do one test batch in the Instant Pot and wasn't super happy with how it turned out. You can't test the dumplings, you just gotta trust the pot, so I found it a bit stressful too. However, my friend Sarah from Sustainable Cooks has an Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings recipe that is thoroughly tested, so I recommend following her instructions if you want to go the IP route.
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Vegetarian Dumpling Soup
For the soup
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 cups diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced potato
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 14- ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Fresh parsley for garnish
For the dumplings
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon fine-grain salt
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter
- ¾ cup milk
Make the dumplings
- In a medium-sized bowl whisk together 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon dried parsley, and ½ teaspoon salt.
- Drizzle 2 tablespoons melted butter and ¾ cup milk over top, and use a fork to bring together a shaggy dough. It should be a texture similar to drop biscuits - thicker than pancake batter but a bit looser than scones.
- Set aside to rest while you're preparing the soup.
Make the soup
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat (I use my Le Creuset dutch oven for this).
- Add the diced onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes, until translucent. Add 4 cloves of crushed garlic, and sauté for 2 additional minutes.
- Add carrots, celery, potato, bay leaves, thyme, and parsley. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 2 tablespoons of flour, and sauté, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes until flour is just starting to brown.
- Add ½ cup of dry white wine, and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot, until it has evaporated.
- Add 4 cups of vegetable broth, ½ cup of nutritional yeast, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, and the chickpeas. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer, and drop the dumpling batter into the soup in heaping tablespoons - it should make about 10-12 dumplings. Make sure they're spaced out evenly and try to avoid having them touch each other if possible.
- Place the lid on the pot, and let the soup simmer for 15 minutes. The dumplings should be floating when they're finished, and the vegetables tender. I usually test one dumpling to make sure they're cooked through - they should be light and fluffy inside.
- Add 1 cup of frozen peas and stir through. Remove the soup from the heat, and serve in bowls with a couple of dumplings per bowl. Garnish with fresh parsley.