Barley and root vegetable stew with parsley dumplings


2 leeks
2 large carrots
225g/8oz swede
1 turnip
1 medium parsnip
2 tablespoons of oil
1 large onion, thickly sliced
860ml/ 1 1/2 pints vegetable stock
110g/ 4oz pearl barley
3 tablespoons yeast extract
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the dumplings

110g/4oz self raising flour
55g/2oz vegetable suet
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Trim the root and outer leaves from the leeks. Wash thoroughly and cut into 1cm/ 1/2 inch lengths. Peel the carrot, swede, turnip and parsnip and cut into chunks about the same size as the leek slices.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onions and fry over a low heat until soft and golden brown. Add the leeks, carrots, swede, turnip and parsnip. Cover and cook gently until slightly softened.

Pour the stock into the pan and bring to the boil, scraping any sticky sediment from the base of the pan. Stir in the barley and yeast extract and season with salt and pepper. Simmer gently for 1 hour.

When the barley is nearly tender, make the dumplings: mix together the flour, suet and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, and bind to a soft dough with cold water. Drop spoonfuls of  the mixture into the bubbling stew. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, then remove the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes.