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October Soups #2: Root Vegetable Stew with Dumplings

October 20, 2009

Because of my current state, I have not been cooking as much as usual. However, my dear husband will often step up to the plate and make something and/or order pizza. (He usually makes something.) Soup has definitely been a culinary refuge for the past four weeks; it’s easily digestible and a great way for me to eat more vegetables. 

Last week, Justin tried a new recipe that we both enjoyed. It uses fall vegetables–mostly roots and you can choose what you want to use or have hanging around the house. This may include potatoes, carrots, beets, radishes, turnips, parsnips, sweet potatoes, celery root and even kohlrabi (though it’s not a root). These are my favorite types of recipes, the choose-your-own-adventure type.

Root Vegetable Stew with Herbed Dumplings


4 t. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

8 oz. Italian sausage, hot or sweet

2 pounds assorted root vegetables, peeled and diced (see list above for ideas)

1 large onion, diced OR 2 leeks, sliced thinly

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 T. chopped fresh sage or rosemary, or 1 t. dried

4 C. chicken broth (You will probably need to add more, or more water, later.)

3 C. chopped dark, leafy greens, such as beet, turnip or kale


1 1/4 C. whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 C. white flour

1 T. chopped fresh sage or rosemary, or 1 t. dried

1 T. baking powder

1/4 t. salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 C. milk

Heat 2 t. oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage and cook until brown, breaking up with a spoon, 5-6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. 

If using parsnips, quarter lengthwise and remove the woody core before dicing. Heat the remaining 2 t. oil in the Dutch oven. Cook onion or leek until tender, about 4 minutes. Add root vegetables and cook 5 minutes. Add garlic and sage or rosemary and cook about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add broth and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Cover.

Meanwhile, whisk flours, herbs, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add milk and egg and stir until a stiff batter forms.

When the stew reaches a simmer, stir in greens and sausage. Return to a simmer. Drop the dough, about 1 T. at a time, over the stew, making about 18 dumplings. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover and cook undisturbed until the dumplings are puffed and the vegetables are cooked through. You may want to add more broth or water at this time, as the dumplings will absorb some of the cooking water.

This is delicious, and even good left-over and heated up.


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