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vegetable stew with corn + sage dumplings {virtual vegan potluck}

veggie stew with dumplings

Welcome potluckers! I made a really tasty vegetable stew that is perfect for the cold winter months ahead. There is a ton of veggie goodness in this pot, including carrots, parsnips, potatoes, and corn. The soup is flavored very simply with cloves and cayenne. The cloves really add an interesting flavor to this soup, sort of spicy but also a little sweet. This is the first time I’ve added cloves to soup, and I really liked it. And it made my kitchen smell so good while this soup was bubbling away!

One of my favorite things in the world is making dumplings. It makes you feel like a rock star chef when you drop the dough in the soup, cover the pot, and then 15 minutes later uncover the pot to reveal plumped-up and perfectly cooked dumplings! This time, I made them with corn and chopped fresh sage. You could certainly make this soup without the dumplings and it would still be tasty, but I like the dumplings because they help thicken up the whole soup. So, be all fancy and make some dumplings!

veggie stew with dumplings

As always, I was inspired by the great Jeanne Lemlin for this recipe. In my opinion, she writes some of the best vegetarian cookbooks, hands down. Seriously, pick up any of her cookbooks – you will find endless inspiration and consistently good recipes!

Thanks for visiting my blog! Scroll down to find the link for the next blog in the potluck. Happy soup-making, everyone! ~Inge

in bowl with spoon

Vegetable stew with corn + sage dumplings
Adapted only just a tiny bit from Jeanne Lemlin’s Simply Satisfying

This is a delicious and aromatic vegetable stew that spiced with cloves and cayenne, and the vegan dumplings are flavored with chopped fresh sage. Your kitchen will smell really good as you make this. The original recipe calls for lima beans, so I added them, but I think leaving them out would also be fine.

¼ cup olive oil
3 medium onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
4 whole cloves
¼ teaspoon cayenne
8-10 cups veggie stock
1.5 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
28-ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes
¾ cup chopped fresh parsley
3 parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced into half moons
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced into half moons
2 medium red potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups frozen lima beans (optional)
2 cups frozen corn

For the dumplings:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
½ cup frozen corn, thawed
2/3 cup cold unsweetened almond milk (soy would also work)
1 tablespoon olive oil

To make the soup:

In your biggest soup pot, heat the olive oil and cook the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add the bay leaves, cloves, and cayenne, stirring everything around. Cook for another minute or so. It will really start to smell good in your kitchen at this point!

Once the spices are fragrant, add the veggie stock, salt, pepper, tomatoes, ½ cup of the parsley, parsnips, carrots, potatoes, and lima beans. Stir everything up and cook for about 45 minutes, until the veggies are soft. For the veggie stock, I start with 8 cups and then add more (up to 10 cups total) if needed, as the soup cooks down.

Once the veggies are soft, add the corn and remaining ¼ cup parsley to the soup. Cook for another 5 minute or so. Remove the bay leaves.

To make the dumplings:
While the soup is cooking, prepare the dumpling mixture. Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, sugar, and sage in a bowl and mix well. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the olive oil, almond milk, and corn all at once. Stir with a wooden spoon, until just moist. Avoid overmixing! At this point, cover and chill the dumpling dough until ready to use.

Once you have removed the bay leaves from the soup, you are ready to cook the dumplings! Keep the soup at a simmer, and drop spoonfuls of the dumpling mixture into the pot. You should get about 8 large dumplings or 10-12 smaller ones. Work fairly quickly dropping the dumplings into the pot (don’t stir them). Then, cover the pot and cook for 15-20 minutes. You can tell if the dumplings are done by inserting a toothpick in the center of one. If it comes out clean, they’re done!

I like to serve the soup with 1 large or 2-3 smaller dumplings per serving, plus a little chopped parsley as garnish. Enjoy!

Click here to visit Canned Time, the next blog in the potluck.

Click here to go back to On The Path To Zen, the previous blog in the potluck.

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apple clafoutis

apple clafoutis

I made this dessert a few weeks ago with some Michigan apples from the farmer’s market. It was outstanding, so I knew I had to share it here! If you’ve never tried a clafoutis before, you should! It’s a traditional French dessert and just about the easiest thing in the world to make. I’ve made them with summer fruit, like cherries and strawberries, but this is the first time I tried apples. Delicious! Wikipedia tells me that a clafoutis is traditionally made with cherries, and if you use another fruit, you should properly call it a “flaugnard.” Huh, interesting.

Whatever you call it, this would make such a great dessert for the holidays. I’m planning to make another one for Thanksgiving and serve it up with some homemade whipped cream…yum!

apple clafoutis 2

Apple Clafoutis
Adapted from here

The batter:
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons melted butter
2/3 cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
Scant ½ cup sugar

The apples:
2 tablespoons butter (plus a little more for the pie dish)
4-5 cups peeled apples, cut into thick slices
¼ cup sugar
A few scratches of fresh nutmeg (or a small pinch of dried nutmeg)
A pinch of cinnamon

You’ll also need a tiny bit of a cinnamon-sugar mixture (1/8 teaspoon cinnamon + 2 teaspoons sugar)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

To make the batter: Put the eggs, milk, vanilla, and melted butter in a blender. Blend it up a little to combine. Then, add the flour, salt, and sugar. Blend just until smooth.

To make the apples: Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the apples, sugar, and pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon. The original recipe says to sauté the apples “until the outside of the slices are golden.” That is a good description of what to do. When the slices start to appear golden and a little soft, they are done.

Assemble: Butter a pie dish and put in the oven to preheat for 2-3 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven (be careful, it’s hot!) and pour in ½ of the batter. With a slotted spoon, distribute the apples over the batter. Make sure not to transfer too much of the apple “juices.” Pour the remaining batter over the fruit, and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Carefully place the clafoutis in the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until puffed and set. Enjoy!