The weather here in the UK has been so bizarre. One minute it was really warm and sunny and the next minute the temperature dropped and it even snowed yesterday. Today we woke up to a hard frost and then the sun came out. So it’s time for something warming and hearty and this Spring stew with cheddar dumplings is exactly what we need. I realise that there’s probably no such thing as a Spring stew but I’ve used a few fresher veg rather than all root veg to make it lighter. Spring onions, green beans and courgettes feature in here as well as some stunning new Mallorcan potatoes which are just divine.
One Pot Joy
I do love a one pot meal. It gives me such joy. There’s somethings so satisfying about creating a whole meal in one large pot. There’s the obvious ease when it comes to washing up but I also love that all your carbohydrates, starches, vegetables and proteins are there, in the one dish. No need to make extra side dishes. For this dish I’ve included all of the above in nice bite-sized chunks.
As you’ll see from the ingredients list, this stew was a proper ‘back of the fridge’ stew which is why there’s a ‘quarter of this’ and a ‘handful of that.’ I’d advise you to just go for it with whatever you have or love.
- a bunch of spring onions (roughly 8) – chopped
- 8 little chestnut (brown) mushrooms – chopped
- 1 stick of celery – chopped
- 1 carrot – chopped
- 4 or 5 new potatoes – chopped
- 1/4 swede – chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic – crushed
- fresh thyme
- a handful of green beans – chopped
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- 1/4 Savoy cabbage – chopped
- 100g fresh baby spinach
- 1 litre vegetable stock – I use kallo organic stock cubes
- 1 glass white wine
for the cheddar dumplings
- 200g self-raising flour
- 100g vegetarian suet
- 50g strong cheddar (or similar cheese) – finely grated
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- a little cold water to mix
Melt a large nob of butter and some olive oil in your pan over a medium heat, add the spring onions and mushrooms and gently sauté to add some colour to the mushrooms. Add some freshly ground pepper and then stir in the garlic, celery, carrots, swede and potatoes and gently saute for roughly 8 minutes. Add the herbs and saute again for another couple of minutes.
Next, add the green beans, stir again, place the lid on and let all the veg sweat for at least five minutes or until the veg are soft. Sprinkle in the flour and stir well until it’s all absorbed.
Now add the stock, wine and the rest of the veg and let the soup simmer very gently with the lid on for at least an hour. Turn the heat off and let the soup stand to get cool. At least an hour, 4 hours is good, overnight is best.
To make the dumplings, place all the ingredients into a large bowl and rub them together, add enough cold water to bring it all together into a ball of dough. Divide it into small bite-size balls and set aside.
Once you’re ready to serve, heat the soup to a gentle bubble, and then add the dumplings to the top, place the lid on and let the whole pot sit for 15 mins before removing the lid and placing the pot in the oven or under the grill for 15 mins… it should be hot but not steaming when people eat it.
Eat and of course, enjoy!