Where I live is currently under a blanket of snow – which is pretty unusual for the UK and frankly the country is not coping! But we are hunkering down with plenty of comfort food to warm up between sledging and snowman making. And this Root Vegetable and Bean Stew with Herb Dumplings is just perfect for this week. In fact I made a double amount so we have one in the freezer for the weekend, there’s ‘snow’ stopping me! (sorry)
The great thing about this you can change up the vegetables you use to suit what you have available, what’s in season or simply the root vegetables you like best. Just use similar quantities. Same with the beans, use a tin of the ones which you prefer. I love butterbeans and kidney beans in this stew but you can use any. Just make sure you add them at the end, before popping the stew in the oven, as they are already cooked so any sooner and they will break up and go mushy. You can cook the whole dish in one pot if you have an ovenproof casserole dish, if not make the veggies in a saucepan first before transferring it to another dish to bake.
Everyone has their own fave way to eat their dumplings – either lid on or lid off. Personally I like the crust on a dumpling so bake in the oven lid off. But if softer is for you then leave the lid on. I also like to add parmesan to the dumplings but if you prefer a more traditional dumpling then you can stick to the herbs alone.
Root Vegetable and Bean Stew with Herb Dumplings
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 medium onions, finely sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped
- 4 carrots
- 2 parsnips
- ½ a celeriac (about 250g)
- ½ swede (about 250g)
- 1 heaped teaspoon of herbs de Provence
- 400g can of chopped tomatoes
- 400g can of cooked beans, drained (I like kidney beans or butter beans or both!)
- 350ml vegetable stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- 150g self-raising flour
- 75g vegetable suet
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 50g grated Parmesan
- Step 1 Soften the cut onions and garlic in the oil for a few minutes in an ovenproof, flameproof dish, so they are soft but not browned.
- Step 2 Chop all the vegetables into similar size chunks. They should be around an inch in size, not too small else they will break up.
- Step 3 Add the vegetables to the pan of onions with the herbs, chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer with the lid off for 20mins. Preheat the oven 200°c /Gas mark 6.
- Step 4 While it is cooking make the dumplings. Simply mix the flour, suet and parsley in a bowl and gradually mix in tablespoons of water until the mix just holds together, forming a soft dough. Divide into 10 portions and roll into balls in your hands. Place on a plate or floured worktop as you go.
- Step 5 Remove the vegetable mix from the hob and stir through the beans, season with salt and pepper.
- Step 6 Place the dumplings on the top of the vegetables and place in the oven with or without the lid to suit your tastes.
- Step 7 Bake for 20-25mins until the veggies are soft and dumplings puffed.