Winter Casserole with Herb Dumplings

Casserole Base
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • 1 small rutabaga
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 zucchini
  • 4 tbsp. margarine
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • One 15-oz. can lima beans with liquor
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and ground black pepper
Dumplings
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 oz. vegetable suet, shredded, or grated chilled margarine
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup milk

Cut vegetables into even, bite-size chunks, then fry gently in the margarine for about 10 minutes.

Stir in the flour and then the liquor from the beans, the stock, tomato paste, spices, bay leaves, and seasoning, and bring to a boil, stirring all the time.

Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, then add the beans, and cook for another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the dumplings, simply mix the flour and suet or margarine, thyme, and salt to a firm but moist dough, with the milk and knead with your hands until it is smooth.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces, rolling each one into a ball with your fingers.  Uncover the simmering stew and add the dumplings, allowing space between each one for expansion.

Replace the lid and cook on a gentle simmer for another 15 minutes.  Do not peek.  You will let all the steam out.  Nor should you cook the dumplings too fast, or they will break up.  Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves before you serve this dish, steaming hot.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: about an hour.

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