Recipe of the Month – Veggie Stew with Dumplings

This is a big, thick, rich stew  with cheesy herby dumplings, perfect for the colder evenings that’s really easy to make.

Serves 6



For the dumplings:

50g butter, softened

125g self raising flour

40g cheddar cheese, crumbled

1 tbsp thyme leaves

For the stew:

3 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, roughly diced

2 celery sticks, roughly diced

3 tbsp plain flour

1 tbsp Marmite

1/2 tbsp tomato puree

2L hot vegetable stock

3 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunky pieces

4 parsnips, peeled and chopped into chunky pieces

450g swede, peeled and chopped into chunky pieces

3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunky pieces

2-3 rosemary sprigs, plus extra, chopped, to sprinkle

1 bouquet garni

150g orzo pasta

80g pack of cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped

salt and pepper



Start by making the dumplings.  Rub the butter into the flour and mix with the cheddar and thyme.  Add just enough cold water to bring the mixture together to a soft dough and divide into 6 small dumplings.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees fan / Gas mark 5.  Heat the oil in a large casserole dish and fry the onion and celery over a low heat for 10 minutes until soft and translucent.  Add the flour into the pan, whisking constantly to make a roux.  Add in the Marmite and tomato puree followed by the stock a glug at a time, whisking all the while to make a smooth base to the stew.

Throw the carrots, parsnips, swede, sweet potatoes, rosemary and bouquet garni into the dish and bring to the boil.  Cook the stew with the lid off for 5-7 minutes.  The vegetables should be cooking nicely but still have a bite to them.

Rinse the orzo pasta well in a sieve and pour into the casserole along with the chestnuts.  Season well and place the dumplings on top of the casserole.  Sprinkle over a little chopped rosemary and bake in the oven, lid off, for 20-30 minutes until the dumplings are puffed up and nicely cooked and the vegetables are tender.

Service with crusty bread (preferably hot!)