Stews are something I never really used to eat, but when you go vegan you want to try a vegan version of everything! Veggie stews scream comfort and warmth, but this one is so much more than that, with the meatiness of the vegan chorizo and the soft dumplings to top it off. It takes a bit of time to cook (and if you’re short on time I’d suggest swapping in ready-to-cook beans) but once it’s in the oven, you can pretty much leave it to let all those great flavours come together.
Warming Vegetable & White Bean Stew with Mustard Dumplings
Time about 6 hours
200g dried white beans
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
130g vegan chorizo sausages, cut into thick slices
2 tbsp sundried tomato paste
230ml vegan red wine
2 bay leaves
2 thyme sprigs
3 large carrots, cut into thick slices
2 celery sticks, cut into 2cm lengths
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
400g tin tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato purée
750ml vegetable stock
For the dumplings
130g plain flour
zest of 1 lemon
a small bunch of dill, fronds roughly chopped
75g vegetable suet
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
Put the white beans in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Boil the beans for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave to soak for 3 hours. Drain the beans after they have soaked. Leave to one side.
Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/gas mark 2. Put the oil in a flameproof casserole and cook the onions over a medium heat until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and chorizo, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
Add the wine, bay leaves and thyme, and allow to bubble away for 4-5 minutes until reduced. Add the remaining ingredients, including the soaked beans. Bring everything to the boil, cover and transfer the casserole to the oven and cook for 2½ hours.
Meanwhile, to make the dumplings, sift the flour into a mixing bowl and stir in the lemon zest and chopped dill. Add the suet and rub into the flour with your fingertips. Add the mustard and enough cold water to bring the dough together. Roll into walnut-sized balls. Add a splash of water to the stew if it’s looking a little dry. Put the dumplings on top of the stew, increase the oven temperature to 190°C/170°C fan/gas mark 5, put the lid back on and cook for a further 30 minutes until the dumplings are fluffy and firm, then serve.
Extracted from Feed Me Vegan by Lucy Watson (Sphere, approx €21). Photography by Mike English.