This recipe is an improvement on a recipe I published several years ago in my post, “Winter Warmth in Stew Form“. With those of us in the Northern hemisphere firmly in winter’s grasp once again, I felt it was time to bring this recipe back out and see what changes I could make to it. This time around, I’ve added butternut squash and a boatload more herbs to the party, and offered a choose-your-own adventure style of vegetable options to adapt this recipe to your preferences and what you have on hand.
Hearty Vegetable Stew and Dumplings
YIELD: 6 generous servings | PREP: 15 mins | COOK: 30 mins no dumplings, 50-60 mins with dumplings
- 3 tbsp/45mL vegetable oil
- 4 medium white or yellow fleshed potatoes, washed and diced (peels on or off, your choice)
- 1 large red onion, peeled and diced
- 6 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 ribs celery, trimmed and sliced
- 1 tsp/7g Kosher salt
- ½ tsp/1.2g black pepper
- 1 tsp/2g paprika
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 4 cups/950mL vegetable stock or 4 vegetable bouillon cubes with 4 cups boiling water
- ½ cup/120mL white wine (optional, can replace with more stock)
- 1 or 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 cups/400g tinned diced tomatoes (use less for a less “juicy” stew)
- 2 cups/500g mixed frozen vegetables, such as peas, corn, green, wax, or lima beans, cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers, diced butternut squash, etc.
- OPTIONAL TENDER VEGGIES (up to 2 cups): can substitute with another 2 cups of frozen vegetables from above
- ½ cup/78g frozen chopped spinach nuggets, thawed
- 1 cup/70g fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup/124g zucchini, diced
- 1 tsp/0.7g basil, dried
- 1 tsp/1.1g fresh rosemary, crushed and finely minced
- 1 tsp/1.5g dried thyme
- 2 tbsp/16g cornstarch
- 2 tbsp/30mL cold water
- Pinch or two fresh chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish
- Heat oil on medium heat in a large Dutch oven or heavy saucepan; add potatoes, onion, carrots, and celery, and gently sauté, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, paprika and minced garlic and cook for a few minutes longer.
- Add stock and wine to pan plus the bay leaves and bring up to heat, deglazing the pan (scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan and mixing into the broth as it comes to temperature).
- Add tomatoes and cook, covered, at a moderate simmer for 15 minutes. Add frozen vegetables, your choice of optional vegetables (if using) and dried herbs, and simmer for another 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
- Blend water and cornstarch together thoroughly; pour into soup, stir well, and simmer gently for 5 more minutes or until thickened. Taste, adding more seasoning or liquid if necessary. Remove from heat, remove bay leaf, garnish with parsley or cilantro and serve hot.
- If adding dumplings, make up dumpling recipe below while stew is simmering. Stir stew one last time, then gently drop dumplings onto surface of stew with a tablespoon, keeping them well-spaced apart (dumplings will swell during cooking).
You have the option of making steamed or baked dumplings, but to be honest I’ve only ever made the steamed version. I’ll give you the instructions for baked, and if you decide to give it a try, let me know how it turns out for you.
- ¾ cup/94g all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp/8g fresh parsley, finely minced (or 1 tsp dried)
- 2 tsp/10g baking powder
- ½ tsp/1.5g onion powder
- ½ tsp/4g Kosher salt
- ⅓ cup/70g shortening
- ½ cup/119mL 2% milk (use coconut milk for vegan dumplings)
- ½ cup/57g sharp cheddar cheese (optional; for vegan, add 1 or 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast while whisking dry ingredients)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, parsley, baking powder, onion powder and salt.
- Cut in shortening with a pastry cutter or two knives.
- Using a fork, gradually stir in milk to form a moist and soft batter; it should be a little thicker than pancake batter and easily drop from the tip of a spoon. Add up to 2 tablespoons more milk if it is too thick; do not overwork batter. Cover and set aside until 20 minutes before stew is ready.
For STEAMED Dumplings: Gently drop batter in simmering liquid in 10 heaping tablespoonfuls, keeping them spaced apart (dumplings will swell as they cook). Cover pot tightly with lid and simmer until dumplings are firm but pillowy, about 20 minutes. Do not open lid during this time or dumplings will become soggy and tough. Serve hot.
For BAKED Dumplings: Preheat oven to 375˚F/200˚C and make sure rack is set in the middle of the oven. Ensure you have cooked your stew in a heatproof Dutch oven or saucepan with a heatproof handle. Gently drop batter in simmering liquid in 10 heaping tablespoonfuls, keeping them spaced apart (dumplings will swell as they cook). Immediately place pan into oven uncovered, and bake until the dumplings are cooked through and browned on the tops, about 20-30 minutes.