It's officially December! The nights are getting colder, our ears sting when we go outside, and all we want to do is curl up on the sofa watching Christmas films (no it isn’t too early to watch The Holiday).This casserole is everything you want on a cold December night. It’s hearty and comforting, with a gentle heat from the smoked paprika and, whats more, it’s absolutely packed full of winter veg to keep those imminent colds at bay. We’ve added herby, hearty buttermilk dumplings for a touch of nostalgia and to truly ward off that winter chill.Celeriac is somewhat of an unsung hero in the vegetable world and, in our eyes, definitely underused. This ugly, knobbly underdog of a vegetable works perfectly in this casserole, bringing a wonderful nutty flavour to the dish. Combined with the sweetness of the butternut squash it makes for an extremely moreish and filling supper.
Ingredients (serves 4 hungry people):
For the casserole:
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 leek, finely diced
2 medium carrots, finely diced
2 medium garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp hot smoked paprika
3 sprigs thyme, stalks removed and finely chopped
3 sprigs rosemary, stalks removed and finely chopped
2 dried bay leaves
1 head of celeriac, cut into cubes
1 small butternut squash, deseeded and cut into cubes
1x 400g can tinned tomatoes
3 tbsp Dr Will’s Tomato Ketchup
500ml vegetable stock
1x 400g can cannellini beans
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the dumplings:
2 tbsp rapeseed oil (or any mild vegetable oil)
140g self-raising flour
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1/2 tsp mustard powder
Small bunch chopped parsley
Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan, and add the onion, leek and carrots. Sauté on a medium heat for around 5 minutes, until the veg has softened and the onion starts to go clear. Add the garlic, chopped herbs, bay leaves and paprika, and give everything a good stir.
Add the celeriac and butternut squash to the pan. Put the lid on and leave to cook for 15 minutes on a low-medium heat. Once the celeriac and squash have started to soften, add the Dr Will’s Tomato Ketchup, tinned tomatoes, cannellini beans and vegetable stock, along with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well then replace the lid and leave to simmer for another 15 minutes until the liquid reduces slightly to create a thick sauce.
At this point, heat your oven to 200°C (or 180°C fan). Whilst the casserole is cooking away, prepare your dumplings.
In a bowl, mix the flour, mustard powder, pepper and a pinch of salt. Finely chop the spring onions and parsley and stir into the flour.
Mix the oil and the buttermilk together and gently stir into the flour mixture, being careful as to avoid overworking the dumplings and keeping them light and fluffy.
Cut the dough into 6-8 pieces and lightly shape each into a small ball. Transfer the vegetable mix into a casserole dish, making sure to remove the bay leaves. Sit the dumplings on top and press them down gently into the sauce.
Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes, until the dumplings have risen and are golden brown on top. Serve with a few sprigs of rosemary and dive in whilst it’s hot.