Autumn is in full swing, embrace the season by making Root Vegetable Hot Pot with Dumplings.  This recipe is perfect for chilly autumnal nights and very easy to make.  Forget the old stodgy dumplings of days past, these fluffy dumplings are made with cheese, butter and herbs to create a light dumpling that is full flavour.  Any variety of root vegetables can be used, choose your favourite and cauliflower, broccoli or kale can be substituted for the cabbage, making the recipe versatile.

Root Vegetable Hot Pot with Dumplings

Serves 4 with a bit leftover, maybe, but probably not any dumplings!
2 tbsp light cooking oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1tsp coriander seeds
1 medium onion
1 leek
2 stalks of celery
1 K mix root vegetables, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces carrots, swede, celeriac, Jerusalem artichokes, potatoes or parsnip
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp honey
1.5 litres vegetable stock
small handful thyme, tied together with kitchen twine
1/2 small green cabbage, January king or Savoy are good too

Heat oil in pan and add cumin seeds, coriander seeds, onion leek and celery.  Sauté for a few minutes then add root vegetables and garlic.  Sauté for a few more minutes. Add honey, thyme and stock.  Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes.  Whilst the hot pot is cooking, make the dumplings.

Dumplings

150 g self-raising flour
75 g cold butter
30 g Cheddar cheese, grated, additional to garnish
1 tsp mixed herbs, dried or chopped fresh
1/4 tsp salt
3-4 tbsp ice water
Place flour in a medium bowl, grate cold butter into bowl.  Rub mixture together until breadcrumb texture is formed.  Add cheese, herbs and salt.  Stir in water and mix to form a soft, but not sticky dough.  Turn onto a floured surface.  With floured hands, form a circle and cut into quarters.  Shape each quarter into 4 firm balls to make 16 small dumplings.  Make sure the dumplings are well formed, as this will help them stay together and don’t worry, they will double in size.
Place cabbage in pot and stir.  Add dumplings to the top of hot pot and gently submerge to wet the top of each dumpling.  Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until dumplings are done. The dumplings will soak up quite a bit of liquid; so if the hotpot is looking dry, add a bit of water.  The dumplings should will be soft, but firm to the touch when poked.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Serve in bowls. Garnish with grated cheddar cheese.

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