Old school stew and dumplings

Can you imagine my delight at discovering that dumplings are easily made vegan!? Stew and dumplings was always the highlight of my winter when I was younger, so I took this chilly weekend to recreate this homely and comforting bowl of goodness. I’ve used Atora vegetable suet (mainly just a mixture of vegetable fats), which is the most retro product ever, to make light, fluffy, squishy, beautiful dumplings that sit upon a cauldron of heart root veg and pearl barley. The pearl barley takes a while to cook, but if you prepare it in advance, you could throw the whole thing together in half an hour. I just love this dish.

Serves 4

Ready in a low effort hour.


  • 100 pearl barley
  • 1 leek
  • 1 tsp. of rosemary, thyme, or sage
  • 2 tbsps. flour
  • 2 carrots
  • half a swede
  • 3 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 veggie stock cube
  • 1 tbsp. dried porcini, chopped finely (optional)


  • 100g self raising flour
  • 50g Atora vegetarian suet
  • Salt and pepper
  • Arouond 10 tbsps. water


  • Start by placing your pearl barley in a saucepan  of boiling water. Boil for half an hour and set aside.
  • For the base of the stew, slice the leek and sweat with a splash of oil in your biggest saucepan, until soften and lightly browned. Stir in the herbs. Add your flour and stir in well.
  • Slowly stir in 100ml of water from the kettle. Add in 600ml more of boiled water along with your stock cube and porcini if using.
  • Transfer the half-cooked pearl barley to the stew pan.
  • Slice your carrots and chop the swede and potatoes into 1.5cm chunks. Chuck them all into the pan and whack on the lid. Bring to the boil and simmer for half an hour.
  • In the meantime, get on with your dumplings. Stir the flour, suet, and salt and pepper together in a bowl. Slowly add the water until a dough starts to form.
  • Divide the dough into 8 balls, being really gentle and definitely NOT pressing the balls together. If you need to add more water to bring them together, do so. They will come together loosely, and that will be just fine.
  • 20 minutes before you are ready to eat the stew, place the dumplings on the surface,  and cover with a lid.
  • 20 minutes later, gently lift your now plump dumplings form the stew, and serve into bowls with a good few ladelefuls of the stew and veg.
  • Top with a little black pepper and feel like it’s 1997 again.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Reminds me of my childhood too – a good hearty Winter stew and nice to see dumplings that are vegan friendly!


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