Vegetable Stew and Dumplings
Makes up to 6 large portions.
For the stew
- 4 medium potatoes
- 4-5 large carrots
- 2 medium sized onions
- 1 (or more) cloves of garlic
- 4-5 sticks of celery
- 1 large green bell pepper
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tin (400g) tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tin (260g) butter beans or chickpeas (or a mix of both)
- 1/2 cup (200g) frozen or fresh garden peas
- 2 teaspoons vegan vegetable stock
- 1 dessert spoon (2.5 teaspoons) yeast extract spread (Marmite)
- 2 level tablespoons flour
- margarine or olive oil (or a mixture of both)
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
For the dumplings
- 110g (4oz) self-raising flour
- 50g (2oz) margarine
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (optional)
- pinch of salt and ground black pepper (to taste)
- Peel the potatoes and chop them into roughly 4cm (1 and 1/2 inch) chunks. Peel and slice the carrots. Roughly chop both the peppers and the remaining vegetables.
- On a low heat, melt the margarine or heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.
- Add all the chopped vegetables and stir, making sure all vegetables get a good coating of the oil.
- Gently fry/sweat the vegetables for 3 minutes and season well, then add the flour and continue to stir and coat all the vegetables.
- Add the tin of chopped tomatoes, stir in tomato paste and then add enough water to cover all the ingredients in the pan.
- Simmer gently for a further 3 minutes, occasionally stirring.
- Add the stock/bouillon and the yeast extract.
- Crush the clove of garlic and gently stir in.
- Place a lid on (with a slight gap to allow some of the steam to escape) and gently simmer on a low heat for 35-50 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.
- Now make the dumpling mixture. Begin by sifting the self- raising flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda (for extra fluffy and light dumplings) into a large bowl.
- Chop the margarine into the flour, and add a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper
- Add a very small quantity of cold water and pinch-mix with your fingers (you can always add more later), just enough to make a strong, sticky dough.
- Test the main stew to see if it's ready for adding the dumpling dough. Take a carrot from the pan and if it feels semi-cooked, but still firm, then it is the perfect time to add the butter beans, peas and dumplings.
- Taste and add more seasoning if necessary.
- Distribute walnut-sized lumps of dough, evenly spaced, on top of the simmering stew.
- Replace the lid and cook for a further 20-25 minutes, at which time you should have large, light and fluffy dumplings.
Serve the stew and dumplings piping hot straight from the pan with fresh crusty bread and yellow mustard on the side.