We love recipes like this for their hearty, stick-to-your-ribs personality. The sweet leeks and carrots shine next to the tender cornbread dumplings, which soak up flavor from the stock and vegetables. Make this comforting, rich soup on a cold and stormy winter day and you won’t want to stop eating it.
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) unsalted butter 25 mL
- 3 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
- 6 carrots (about 12 oz/375 g), thinly sliced
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- ½ tsp (2 mL) each salt and dried thyme
- pinch each freshly ground black pepper and cayenne pepper
- 6 cups (1/5 L) chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup (250 mL) half-and-half (10%) cream
- ¼ cup (50 mL) minced fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley 50 mL
- 1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (50 mL) stone-ground cornmeal
- 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) each baking soda and salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ½ cup (125 mL) buttermilk
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup (125 mL) frozen corn kernels, thawed
1. In a large pot, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add leeks and sauté until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add carrots, celery, salt, thyme, black pepper and cayenne; sauté until vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add stock, cream and parsley; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, while you assemble the dumplings.
2. Prepare the dumplings: In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk and butter. Pour over dry ingredients, along with corn. Using a large spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet just until mixed. (Don’t overmix, or the dumplings will be heavy and tough.) Drop dumpling batter by tablespoonfuls (15 mL) into simmering soup. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until vegetables are tender and dumplings are cooked through, about 20 minutes.
4. Ladle into heated bowls.
Variation: This recipe turns into a pot pie with the addition of chicken or turkey. You can poach a few chopped breasts in the stock with the vegetables or simply add leftover cooked chicken or turkey just before topping with the dumplings.