Vegetable stew with herby dumplings

Vegetable stew with herby dumplings

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(44 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 1 hr, 30 mins


Serves 6
The pearl barley makes this stew really hearty - perfect for a cold winter evening

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal391
  • fat14g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs57g
  • sugars16g
  • fibre8g
  • protein10g
  • salt0.83g
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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 350g shallot, peeled



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 2 leeks, thickly sliced



    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • ½ swede, chopped into chunks
    Two slices of swede



    A member of the cabbage family, the swede is often confused with the turnip, though they look…

  • 2 parsnips, quartered



    The fact that the parsnip is a member of the carrot family comes as no surprise – it looks…

  • 350g Chantenay carrot



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 175g pearl barley
  • 225ml white wine
  • 1l vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs thyme


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • small bunch parsley, finely chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

For the dumplings

  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 50g mature cheddar cheese, grated



    Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…

  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary



    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves


  1. Heat oil in a large casserole dish. Add shallots and cook for 5-6 mins until starting to soften and brown. Add leeks for 2 mins, then stir in swede, parsnips and carrots.

  2. Pour in barley and wine, cook until wine has reduced by half. Add stock, bay, thyme, parsley and seasoning. Cover pan, bring to the boil, then simmer for 45 mins until barley and veg are tender. Stir occasionally to stop it catching.

  3. Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Rub flour and butter together to form breadcrumbs. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Sprinkle over 2 tbsp water, mix to form a soft dough. Divide into six and roll into balls. Dot on top of stew and transfer to oven. Cook, uncovered, for 20-25 mins until dumplings are golden.

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Comments, questions and tips

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8th Apr, 2019
I've only ever eaten meat stews before and having recently become vegetarian wanted to try something different, although I was dubious that a stew with only vegetables could be anything other than bland. Nevertheless I wanted to use up some pearl barley so gave this a go. I couldn't believe how easy and delicious this recipe is. The stew is phenomenal and the dumplings are the perfect combination. Use fresh herbs if you can - it makes a difference!
Suzy Matthias
27th Mar, 2019
I think it is perfect just the way it is. Cooked as per recipe and tasted delicious.
26th Jan, 2019
I used butternut squash instead of parsnips and swede. Need an additional tablespoon of water for the dumplings. Was lovely.
22nd Feb, 2018
Found this needed a lot of seasoning and was a little sweet due to the carrot and parsnip. Children would probably like the sweetness of this dish. I liked the textures and it is a nourishing soup, so I made it again and added chopped, tinned, plum tomatoes, it was nicer. The basic recipe can be adjusted with whatever veg you have left over, just taste a lot to see what adjustments needed to balance.
25th Mar, 2017
I used half the quantities to make 3 portions, substituted swede for sweet potato, added 1/4 tin chopped tomatoes, 1 tbsp tomato puree, 1 garlic clove (could've probably done with 2) and instead of the dumplings had it with a large wholemeal bap so I just cooked I all on the hob. I haven't cooked with pearl barley before but it was lovely.
suzy mcallister's picture
suzy mcallister
22nd Mar, 2017
Lovely recipe. As always I read through the comments and made some suggested changes (tinned toms, garlic & tomato puree). I also added dried apricots, and cannellino beans and halved the barley. For the dumplings I used parmasen and also added chopped leeks to them. All in all delightful. I did keep checking and added plenty of seasoning, as otherwise would be too bland for my own taste - but it's easy to add a little bit at a time as you go along.
22nd Jan, 2017
This is a lovely recipe. We substituted swede with sweet potato and alongside the herby dumplings we also used the dumpling recipe for our meat stew (we were cooking for 100!). Those had leek dumplings (SR flour, veg suet, finely chopped leeks). Absolutely unctuous and divine. Way superior to the mince stew. The leek dumplings beat the ones in this recipe but the herby ones were still really good.
11th Mar, 2016
Tasty casserole and the dumplings are super. I used butternut squash instead of parsnips which worked well. One word of warning - I made double and froze half. When reheated it wasn't as good as the vegetables went rather mushy.
goosegirl123's picture
31st Jan, 2016
I found this a little bland but perhaps it was because I used frozen herbs not fresh. It dried up a little in the oven too but I'll try it again as so many positive comments
22nd Nov, 2015
Surprisingly tasty. I thought this might be bland and heavy but not at all - a really, delicious healthy one-pot. My dumplings needed longer in the oven than the recipe stated. I will make this again and freeze it for convenient midweek meaks - leave out the dumpling and then just melt in some strong cheese when reheating it.


25th Oct, 2014
What is a 'small bunch' of parsley? Does that mean a whole small packet like you get at the supermarket? And what is a 'sprig' of thyme?!
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