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Vegetarian Stew with Celebration Potatoes

Updated on June 17, 2015
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Vegetarian stew with celebration potatoes & dumplings recipe

This tasty meat-free stew is quick and easy to make and features beautiful celebration potatoes, leek, carrots and dumplings in a 'meaty' sauce.

It's a meal in itself when it's served with fresh bread and salad and regularly makes it onto our dinner menu. Root vegetables always go so well together and have the added advantage of being nutritious - and inexpensive!

At one time, I had the notion that stews were winter food but that's far from the truth. We eat this all year round in the heat of Florida! Because the ingredients keep so well, this is a handy and convenient recipe to keep on file for those days when there doesn't seem to be anything to cook.

I used celebration potatoes this time because they are attractive and add color to the dish but I've often cooked this recipe with various types and varieties of potatoes - whatever you have will be fine.Although I like to serve this with crusty bread I've also served this with a yellow-colored rice. That makes the dish even more attractive and the rice picks up the sauce well.

Recipe ingredients

These amounts serve two people but the quantities aren't critical at all.

  • 1 large leek
  • Potatoes. I use about a dozen small spuds
  • 2 large carrots
  • Garlic. I use two cloves but you can adjust this to suit your tastes
  • Marmite. I know, I hate it too in its raw state!
  • Olive oil - about a tablespoon
  • About a quarter cup flour
  • I also added a sloosh of wine, black pepper and chopped herbs

Vegetables

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and put a glass of water in the freezer.

POTATOES

The potatoes I used had been around for a while so were quite 'eye-y' so my first job was to wash them, clean out any eyes and cut them into quarters. Each chunk of potato should be bite-sized. Once the oil is hot, add the potatoes. I like to dab them with paper towel to dry them first. Stir the potatoes and turn the heat to medium-low.

LEEKS

Simply clean the leek and cut into slices. I don't know if it's just me that gets particularly grubby leeks but I always have to give them a very thorough rinse in cold water.

Celebration potatoes

Leeks

LEEKS & POTATOES

Put the leeks to the pan with the potatoes. Give them a good stir.

GARLIC

Peel and slice the garlic cloves and put these into the pan too, combining the vegetables well. By now, the potatoes will probably be cooked. I usually just eat one to test but if a knife point goes in easily, they're done.

ADD LIQUID

Add about half a cup of water, ground black pepper and half a teaspoon of Marmite. Oh, what a subject this brown goo is! My mum used to force-feed us the stuff when we were kids because it's loaded with vitamins and goodness. I think it tastes horrible but don't worry. It will add color and flavor to the stew but the 'Marmiteness' will be gone. I also pour in a sloosh of red wine; a sloosh being about a tablespoon. Once the liquids have come to the boil, turn the heat to low-medium.

Carrots

CARROTS

The carrots are the last vegetable to go in. This is because we prefer carrots to have crunch in the final dish. This depends on your personal preference. If you're expecting this recipe to be a little like an Irish stew (which it can be) cook the carrots for longer. In Irish stew, carrots are usually cooked for an hour or more so if you're looking for carrots with that same texture put them into the pan at the same time as water.

Leave the stew to simmer while you make the dumplings.

Dumplings

The dumplings are very easy to make and are great for absorbing the flavor of the sauce. They aren't heavy at all. My mum used to make dumpling when I was a kid using suet - a definite no-no for vegetarians. But you can still make lovely tasty vegetarian versions.

MAKE THE DUMPLINGS

I use about a quarter cup of flour plus extra for kneading. Put the flour in a bowl - I like to sieve it from a few inches above the bowl as this adds air and lightness. I also add fresh chopped herbs - whatever I have to hand. It makes the dumplings slightly different every time. Retrieve the glass of water from the freezer, it should be pretty cold by now, and add enough water to the bowl to make a dough. If you put in too much, just add a little more flour. Place the dough on a floured board and knead it briefly. Break the dough into six pieces that are roughly the same size and roll them into balls. I then leave these to rest for a few minutes while I get the plates & silverware ready.

COOK THE DUMPLINGS

Before you put the dumplings into the pan, be sure that the sauce is the desired consistency. If it's looking too thick, add a little more water (or wine!). If it isn't thick enough add a little cornflour mixed with a little water. Once you have your sauce the way you like it, it should be simmering. Put the dumplings on top and cover. They will only take a few minutes to cook - about four minutes is about right.

PREPARE THE ACCOMPANIMENTS

This time, I served this with wonderfully fresh bread and salad leaves.

Serve the stew and dumplings!

This is so tasty! You can easily make this ahead if you're entertaining. Stop just before the adding carrots stage. If you're not vegetarian this makes a great accompaniment to go with so many dishes. It will soon become a family favorite.

Further reading

Eating and enjoying meatless meals is much easier today than it used to be. Professional cooks, plus celebrity chefs, have made cooking without meat into an art. Whatever type of recipe book you're looking for, there's one to suit you. See the great selection below.

Buy online

If you can't buy this locally (it's made in England) you can buy it online. I hate the bloody stuff but it's handy for cooking.

People love this!

I can't stand the stuff myself although it's a great cooking ingredient, particularly for vegetarians. The Marmitey taste goes when it's used in cooking. But see below how much it is loved - there are so many branded products available!

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    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @sousababy: They say that people either love it or hate it :)

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 

      4 years ago

      Great simple veggie dish (and I don't use Marmite either).

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