Fennel & Barley Stew with Dumplings

This fennel and barley stew with dumplings is the perfect thing to make when you’re craving something warming and hearty. All made in one pan, in about 30 minutes, it's made with easy-to-find ingredients that are swappable to make it vegan. The dumplings are rolled and cooked directly in the pan for extra ease.


  • No carrots? Try with potatoes, parsnips or squash. 
  • No fennel? Swap for leek.  
  • No thyme? Use oregano, fennel seeds or rosemary. 
  • No vegetable stock? Just use water. 
  • No self raising flour? Use plain flour with 1 tsp of baking powder. 
  • Vegan? Use vegan butter and vegan milk. 
  • No parsley? Swap for any fresh herbs you have, or leave it out.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Servings: 2


2 Fennel

1 Carrot / Potato

2 Celery stalk

1 Onion

120 g Pearl barley

1 tsp Thyme

2 tbsp Olive oil

1 litre Vegetable stock

For the dumplings:

100 g Self raising flour

50 g Unsalted butter (or vegan butter )

1 tbsp Parsley (chopped)

60 ml Milk of choice


  1. Finely chop the fennel, carrot, celery and onion.
  2. Add the olive oil to a large pan, then add the veg. Season with thyme and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. 
  3. Add the pearl barley and stock to the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. 
  4. While that's cooking, make the dumplings. Combine the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes, and add it to the flour. Use your fingertips to mix butter and flour together. Add the parsley and milk, and mix until a dough forms. Use your hands to make 8 balls out of the dough.
  5. Place the dumpling balls into the stew, cover with a lid and cook for 15-20 minutes over a low-medium heat. 
  6. Divide the stew and dumplings between bowls. Serve with more parsley on top if you like. Enjoy! 
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How to store

Let the stew cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. 

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