Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr
This is another of the dishes I've been brought up on. A warming, comforting dish, very nutritious and, without the dumplings, low in fat. The vegetables can be substituted, there are no hard and fast laws, after all, my nana makes it with whatever she has in the house! Feel free to experiment with combinations of vegetables. The only must is that the herbs are fished out before serving and that you serve with crusty buttered bread! I also like to liquidise some or all of the broth to give a thicker texture, though it then becomes vegetable soup. You may find you need more or less liquid--again, experiment.
- 1 tablespoon oil or 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 large leeks, washed and sliced
- 3 large carrots, washed, scraped and sliced
- 1⁄2 small cabbage, washed and shredded
- 1 small swede or 1 small turnip, peeled and cubed
- 2 large tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
- 2 stalks celery, washed and sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 sprig oregano
- 3 vegetable bouillon cubes
- 2 pints boiling water
- 1⁄4 cup dried red lentils or 1⁄4 cup barley
For the Dumplings
- 6 ounces plain flour
- 3 ounces vegetable suet
- 1 pinch salt
- cold water
- In a very large pan, heat the oil or butter very gently.
- Over a low light, add the leeks, turnip, carrots and celery, toss around to coat in oil and then put on the lid.
- Shaking the pan at regular intervals, allow the vegetables to 'sweat' for about 10 minutes.
- Now add the rest of the vegetables, make the stock cubes up with the water and add this, along with the herbs and a touch of salt and pepper (you can taste and re-season later) Bring to the boil, replace the lid, and simmer for at least an hour to bring out the flavours of the vegetables.
- Add the barley or lentils after about 20 minutes cooking time.
- Meanwhile, make the dumpling mix by combining the dry ingredients and mixing to a soft but not sticky dough with cold water.
- Divide this into small pieces about the size of a golf ball and drop one by one into the simmering soup.
- Replace the lid and cook for 15-20 minutes, by which time the dumplings should have puffed up and become light and fluffy.
- Serve with lots of crusty bread and butter!
I made one minor change in that I used a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes rather than fresh. This was extremely thick, had to add an additional two cups of broth and even then it was still very thick but the flavor was good.
I couldn't wait to try some more of her recipes, so I had to make this! I used the red lentils instead of the barley. Nice balanced flavor. Perfect on a soggy, rainy day! Popped the rest into the freezer to save the next time I have a fresh loaf of bread waiting!