Winter vegetable and pearl barley stew with herby dumplings – a hearty, healthy and filling vegan vegetable stew topped with fluffy, herby dumplings. The perfect meal to warm you up on chilly days. Post sponsored by Appletiser.
It feels like only last week we were in the midst of a heatwave and now it is somehow nearly Christmas! I'm sure I say this every year, but I just can't believe how fast this year has gone by!
With the sudden drop in temperature, I've been cooking a lot of warming comfort food; and soups and stews have been featuring heavily on our dinner rotation.
This hearty vegetable and pearl barley stew topped with herby dumplings is perfect for re-fuelling after a chilly Winter walk. I like it best washed down with a refreshing glass of bubbly Appletiser.
Let's be honest, I love Appletiser all year round but as apples are currently in season the flavour is particularly well suited to this time of year!
This recipe is another in my series for Appletiser – one recipe a month for a meal that is the perfect pairing with a glass of Appletiser. Just like the delicious drink my recipes are all free from added sugar and contain at least one portion of your five a day!
The best thing about this time of year is all of the delicious vegetables that are in season. I put lots of them to good use in this delicious stew; it is packed with leeks, parsnips, carrots, swede and potatoes.
The addition of the pearl barley makes it really filling; and adding the herby dumplings turns it into a one-pot meal that doesn't need anything else served alongside it (except a glass of Appletiser of course!).
This vegetable and pearl barley stew is very easy to make, but it does take a while to cook, so don't wait until you are hungry to start cooking it!
How To Make Vegetable and Pearl Barley Stew With Herby Dumplings:
(For ingredients and full instructions see the recipe card below)
Start by gently frying onion, leek and celery in olive oil and dairy free margarine. I like to use half and half for flavour, but you can use all olive oil if you prefer.
Add some crushed garlic and fry for thirty seconds then stir in three tablespoons of plain flour – this helps to make the stew really creamy.
Stir in some dry white wine a little at a time; don't add all the liquid in one go or you will end up with a lumpy sauce. Once you have incorporated all of the wine, gradually stir in vegetable stock. A good quality stock makes all the difference here; I like Marigold Vegan Bouillon Powder.
Add the pearl barley along with some thyme, bay leaves and rosemary. Boil for 10 minutes then add chopped carrots, parsnips, potato and swede.
Cover the pot and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes until the pearl barley and vegetables are soft. Stir the stew regularly to prevent it from catching on the bottom. Top it up with a little extra stock if needed but bear in mind that this stew is meant to be quite thick.
While the stew is cooking prepare the dumplings. Mix together self-raising flour, salt and dried herbs. Add cold dairy free margarine and rub it in using your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Gradually stir in cold water until it forms a dough.
Roll the dough into balls about the size of a golf ball and dot them all over the top of the cooked stew. Pop the uncovered pan in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes until the dumplings are golden.
Pour yourself a glass of Appletiser and dig in!
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Vegetable And Pearl Barley Stew With Herby Dumplings (Vegan)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp dairy free margarine or more olive oil
- 1 large brown onion peeled and finely chopped
- 1 large leek thinly sliced
- 2 sticks celery thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 3 Tbsp plain flour
- 120 ml (½ cup) dry white wine optional
- 1 ½ litres (6 cups) vegetable stock
- 175 g (6oz) pearl barley
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary or ½ tsp dried
- 3 large carrots about 350g, cut into large chunks
- 3 parsnips about 250g, cut into large chunks
- 1 large potato about 350g, cut into large chunks
- ½ a small swede about 300g, cut into chunks
- plenty of salt and pepper
- 300 g (2 ½ cups) self-raising flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp mixed dried herbs
- 80 g (⅓ cup) dairy free margarine cold
- about 150ml cold water (½ cup + 2 Tbsp)
- Heat the olive oil and dairy free margarine in a large, oven-proof casserole pan or saucepan. Add the onion, leek and celery and fry gently for about 10 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Add the crushed garlic and fry for thirty seconds then stir in the flour.
- Stir in the dry white wine (if using) a little at a time; don't add it all in one go or you will end up with a lumpy sauce. Once you have incorporated all of the wine, gradually stir in the stock.
- Add the pearl barley along with the thyme, bay leaves and rosemary. Bring up to the boil; allow to boil rapidly for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Turn down to a gentle simmer then add the carrots, parsnips, potato and swede.
- Cover the pot and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes until the pearl barley and vegetables are soft. Stir the stew regularly to prevent it from catching on the bottom. Top it up with a little extra stock if needed but bear in mind that this stew is meant to be quite thick.
- While the stew is cooking preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6 and prepare the dumplings.
- Mix together the self-raising flour, salt and dried herbs in a large bowl. Add the cold dairy free margarine and rub it in using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Gradually stir in enough cold water to bring the mixture together into a ball.
- Once the vegetables and pearl barley are tender, remove the pan from the heat. Remove the thyme and rosemary sprigs (if using fresh herbs) and the bay leaves. Season generously to taste with salt and pepper.
- Roll the dough into balls about the size of a golf ball and dot them all over the top of the stew. Place the uncovered pan in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes until the dumplings are golden.
- The stew is best eaten fresh, but leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days (the stew will thicken as it sits).