Chicken Soup with Parsley Dumplings

In a hearty soup, parsley dumplings speckle the broth with bits of green.
Martha Stewart Living, May 2004
  • Yield Serves 6
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  • For the Broth

    • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 pounds total), each cut into 3 pieces
    • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 pounds total)
    • 4 medium carrots (about 3/4 pound), cut on the diagonal into 1/4-inch rounds
    • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
    • 2 celery stalks, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
    • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
    • Coarse salt
    • 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh thyme
  • For the Dough

    • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
    • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
    • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
    • 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    • 1/2 cup low-fat (1 percent) milk


  1. Bring 2 quarts water, chicken, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf, stock, and 1/8 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium pot; skim froth. Reduce heat to medium-low; gently simmer 20 minutes. Add thyme.

  2. Meanwhile, whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, shallot, zest, parsley, and cheese in a medium bowl. Add butter, and blend in with fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk, and stir with a fork just until a dough forms.

  3. Roll dough into 1-inch balls; add all at once to simmering broth. Cover; simmer, undisturbed, until the dumplings are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Divide soup among six bowls.

Recipe Reviews

Reviews (6)

  • 3d Dana 7 Jan, 2013

    Gluten Free Version: This is a spectacular recipe!!
    We replaced the flour with rice flour (Red Mill) and it was a dream. We also chopped fresh spring onions to sprinkle on the top once served. Yummy!!!!

  • CorrieS 23 Dec, 2010

    This recipe actually came from the back of MSL magazine in the "Fit to Eat" section. It's very low cal, even with the dumplings. Don't skip them next time! This is a "keeper" recipe in my opinion, which I've made numerous times. The parsley and lemon zest give the dumplings a beautiful, bright, fresh flavor. And, when they break up slightly in the soup, they act as a thickener, making the dish feel so indulgent and satisfying. You don't even know it's "light."

  • judypatel 19 Jan, 2009

    This didn't turn out for me. It is the most flavorless soup ever. I didn't make the dumplings which I am sure would be good but I am trying to diet. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. It needs all homemade stock in my opinion.

  • Lil-Brooklyn 11 Jan, 2009

    My boyfriend made this for me and we loved it. The flavors are light and delicious while the dumplings add richness. The one downside was that he overworked the dumplings and their centers were too gummy. will make this again though!

  • samlittlebell 12 Dec, 2008

    Best Soup EVER! I like when the dumplings fall apart, it makes the soup a bit richer.

  • ladybird73 12 Oct, 2008

    This soup's flavor is really excellent. I didn't have success with the dumplings; they broke apart in the soup.