Porcini & Celeriac Stew with Herb Dumplings

Dried porcini lend a real depth of flavour to the sauce of this hearty winter stew for your slow cooker – a little goes a long way for flavour. They are joined by fresh mushrooms and root vegetables for a fibre boost. Mushrooms have prebiotic properties, supporting growth of healthy bacteria in the gut and are a source of vitamin D. Serve with steamed shredded spring greens.

Healthy Vegetarian & Vegan Slow Cooker


15g dried porcini mushrooms

150ml cup just boiled water from the kettle

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

350g chestnut mushrooms, quartered or cut into sixths if large

400g celeriac, peeled and cut into 2-cm chunks

1 large carrot, halved lengthways and cut into 2-cm chunks

1 celery stick, finely diced

About 350ml hot vegetable stock

1 tbsp tomato purée

2 tsp paprika

1 handful of thyme sprigs

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp soured cream or oat cream

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper



170g self-raising flour, plus 1 tbsp for thickening

1/3 tsp sea salt

90g butter or dairy-free alternative

1 tbsp thyme leaves or ½ tsp dried thyme

About 1½ tbsp milk of choice or water


Low 6½–7½ hours

High 4½–5½ hours

Serves 4


Put the porcini in a small heatproof bowl and cover with the boiled water. Top with a plate and leave to rehydrate for 20 minutes. Strain, reserving the soaking water in a measuring jug and squeezing the porcini of any excess water. Finely chop and set aside. While the porcini is soaking, heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan and fry the onion for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chestnut mushrooms and chopped porcini and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon flour and cook for 1 minute to thicken the sauce. Tip the mushroom mixture into the slow cooker pot and add the celeriac, carrot and celery. Pour enough hot vegetable stock/broth into the jug containing the porcini soaking water to make 550ml. Stir in the tomato purée/paste and paprika. Pour the liquid into the slow cooker pot, covering the vegetables. Add the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Cover and cook for 6½–7½  hours on low or 4½–5½ hours on high.


For the herb dumplings, 1½ hours before the end of the cooking time, mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Rub the butter in with your fingertips, then stir in the thyme and the milk/water until it comes together into a ball; make sure it’s not too wet. Form the dough into 12 ping pong-sized balls. Stir your cream into the stew and season with salt and pepper. Place the dumplings, evenly spaced out, on top of the stew, pressing down so they are half submerged in the sauce. Cover and cook on high for 1–1¼ hours until risen and fluffy. Serve the stew with 3 dumplings per person.


This recipe is from Healthy Vegetarian & Vegan Slow Cooker by Nicola Graimes. To get more great blog posts like this one - direct to your inbox – be sure to sign up to our mailing list here.