Herb dumplings; the perfect hearty addition for topping a Winter vegetable stew.
This is a dish which reminds me of my childhood. It’s got that cosy, homely feel about it, filling and wholesome! Dumplings usually are made from suet which is the raw, hard fat from beef or mutton. It has no place in a vegan diet of course so I had to work out a suitable replacement for its use in my favourite dumplings! I am really not a fan of using vegetable margarine as they are highly processed. Coconut oil seemed like the best alternative based on its solid state when cold and higher temperature melting/smoking point. I used regular coconut oil in this recipe and did not detect any coconut flavour so I would keep with using the natural, unrefined version for this recipe.
The dumplings are super simple to make and you can prepare them ahead and store in the fridge, ready for topping that stew!
They will expand a little when cooking in the oven due to the self-raising flour and soaking up of the juices from the stew, so ensure you leave a little space between each one when adding them.
They are rather filling so this dish easily serves 6 people (if you make the recipe without the dumplings then I would say it serves 4). I think it makes a really great meal for serving with family or friends if you’re standing or gathering outdoors because you can serve it in small bowls and easily eat with one hand and a spoon to dig in.
Enjoy! Joanne x
Vegetable Stew with Chestnuts, Rosemary & Vegan Herb Dumplings
- 1 large onion skin removed roughly chopped
- 2 sticks celery washed chopped
- 3 carrots peeledchopped small
- 3 parnsips peeled chopped small
- 2 large sweet potatoes peeled chopped chunky
- 3 tbsp wholemeal flour
- 1 tbsp yeast extract to give the gravy a really full hearty flavour
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 180 g whole prepared chestnuts half any large chestnuts
- 1.5 litres vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp dried rosemary
- 1 dash rapeseed oil for frying the onion
- few grinds black pepper
- 400 g wholemeal self raising flour
- 60 g coconut oil
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tbsp dried chives
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- pinch sea salt
- 1 cup cold water
Make the dumplings first
Begin by assembling all the ingredients and preheating the oven to 180 degrees C. You will need a good sized casserole dish and a large pan. Prepare the vegetable stock by filling the kettle and placing a veg stock cube in a jug ready for adding to the pan.
Begin by adding the oil to the pan and turning the heat to a med-high setting. Once it begins to heat, add the onion and celery and stir. Turn down the heat to low and add a lid to the pan. Allow to cook for around 7 minutes until the onion and celery begin to soften.
Now add the chopped carrots, parsnip, and sweet potato chunks. Return the lid and allow to cook for a further 10 minutes on a low heat.
After around 10 minutes, stir in the flour, then the yeast extract, black pepper and the tomato puree. Now add a little of the vegetable stock while stirring constantly. Continue stirring over the heat while slowly adding the rest of the vegetable stock. Add the dried rosemary and then allow the pan to simmer for 5 minutes with the lid firmly on.
Turn off the heat for the pan and stir through the chestnuts. Carefully add the mixture to the casserole dish, add the dumplings on top of the stew and place in the oven to cook for 30 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender for eating.
To make the dumplings, add the flour, nutritional yeast flakes, herbs and salt to a bowl and using clean hands, work the coconut oil into the flour by gently rubbing it together until no lumps of coconut oil remain. Do not overwork the mixture.
Now add half of the water and work the mixture together using your hands or a spoon. Gradually add more water, a little at a time until the whole mixture comes together. Add a little more water if needed but you do not want it too wet. If you accidentally add too much water, add a little more flour to counteract it.
Use your hands to form 6 equal sized balls., then place in the fridge, covered until ready to use.
You do not need extra salt with this recipe as the yeast extract is already high in salt.
You can use marmite or vegemite as the yeast extract.
You can prepare this meal up to the point of adding to the oven, in advance if needed then store it in the fridge until ready for cooking. Just increase the oven time as it will take an extra 10 minutes from chilled.