Carrot, Celery and Leek Soup with Cornbread Dumplings

This image courtesy of Mark T. Shapiro

Editor's Note: Here is a great soup that can serve as a main dish or side on a cold, wintry day when you seek some comfort food. This soup has healthy and appealing ingredients that will satisfy many of your winter food cravings. The cornbread dumplings are able to soak up some of their flavor from the chicken stock and vegetables in the soup. This soup is relatively easy to make. The dumplings take slightly more effort, but all in all, this dish is contain a nice combination that smells and tastes wonderful and helps keep you warm when you need it. 

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.




Total Timeunder 1 hour

One Pot MealYes

Recipe CourseMain Course

Dietary ConsiderationHalal, Kosher, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegetarian


Taste and TextureButtery, Herby, Rich, Savory

Type of DishHot Soup, Soup


  • 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.

  5. 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.

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I give the original recipe two stars because of the health profile. This recipe is swimming in fats and oils. It's unnecessary since the base ingredients are delicious in their own right. I prepared this recipe the healthy way sauting in small amounts of vegetable stock and adding hemp milk for creaminess. The dumplings too can be made in a simpler way that is more healthful. I wonder if the creators of these recipes give a flying fig for the well-being of those that eat their creations! This soup simply made is a hearty and tasty soup without the addition of a battleship of fat and oil. There is a sarcastic comment from cook street on this page stating nutritional information for every recipe. Where is it? No one has time to scroll through subsections of everything. Publish the nutritional data with the recipe in plain sight please!

@blueheronkitchen - Thank you for your comment. Our goal at Cookstr is to provide our users with a large volume of tested and delicious recipes from which to choose. Healthfulness is also very important to us which is why we have nutritional information available for every recipe on the site. Please take some time to navigate through our Nutritional Information sub-section of our Advanced Search. I feel confident that you will find plenty of recipes that are healthy and delicious, and that work within your nutritional guidelines.

Just made this last night for the family. I added another leek and used a couple of dried chili peppers instead of the cayenne. It was absolutely delicious. Everyone said put this one in the "keeper" file to make again.

This DOES look lovely, but timing is everything. This recipe is over-the-top rich. It's not a "mid-week" meal - at least not in my house. This is caloric and filled with fat. With celeb chefs cashing in on diabetes for more publicity, why not learn a lesson and publish recipes that are seasonal, hearty, delicious AND healthy?

I just made this recipe and it was wonderful. My grandfather will *not* stop complimenting it. The pepper and cayenne is a great balance to the sweetness of the cornbread. Instead of making the cornbread from scratch, I used a cornbread mix and added a little extra milk to the muffin recipe on the box (it called for 1/4 cup - I used 1/2 cup instead). Vegetarians be aware, though, that some cornbread mixes contain lard. If you wanted to add some extra heartiness, frozen or fresh corn would go well. My grandfather also suggested scallops for more protein. Personally, I don't think it needed anything. Thanks so much!


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