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Vegetarian Stew

This wonderfully flavorful vegetarian stew, taken from the cookbook Vegetarian, The Best Ever Recipe Collection by Linda Fraser, is so tasty it has been known to lure confirmed carnivores from their sanguinary ways. Serves 6.


2 tbsp oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 onion, roughly chopped

1 tsp mild chili powder

1 lb potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped

12 oz carrots, roughly chopped

1 pound celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped

12 oz trimmed leeks roughly chopped

8 oz brown-cap mushroom, halved

4 tsp plain flour

2 1/2 cups vegetable stock

14 oz chopped tomatoes

1 tsp tomato puree

2 tsp fresh thyme

14 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sprigs of fresh thyme to garnish (optional)


4 oz butter

2 cups self-rising flour

4 oz Cheddar Cheese, grated

2 tbsp snipped fresh chives

About 5 tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat oil in ovenproof casserole and sauté the garlic and onion for five minutes or until beginning to brown. Stir in the chili powder and cook for another minute.

Add the potatoes, celeriac, carrots, leeks and mushrooms. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.

Gradually stir in the stock with the tomatoes, tomato puree, thyme and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil stirring. Cover and cook in oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the topping. Rub the butter into the flour, stir in half the cheese with the chives and plenty of salt and pepper. Add just enough milk to make a smooth dough.

Roll out the dough until it is 1 inch thick. Cut into 12 triangles and brush with milk.

Remove the casserole from the oven, add the beans and stir to combine. Place the triangles on top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Return to the oven, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes. Serve garnished with the thyme springs if desired.

Book published 2002 by Hermes House, an imprint of Anness Publishing, LTD.