Need Vegan Umami? Wow with this easy Stew

No, it’s not meat! 😛 I almost didn’t post it as it looked too meaty, but it was so easy and tasted so good that I couldn’t not share it with you!

You know sometimes you can’t be bothered to cook and wish you could just throw it all in a pot and hey presto, a delicious meal comes out? Well, this was nearly that meal! I say nearly because it was, but not for me! My boys still eat meat and hubby had mentioned using the slow cooker for meat and I thought what a great idea – I’ll do that! So I set about making a stew (or casserole as my son named it because he says he ‘doesn’t like stew’ 😛 )!

While I was chopping the veg, I thought, oh! I have some soya chunks, I could quite easily make myself one too! Now, soya chunks are one of those things which I thought was a good idea at the time, then left in the pantry wondering what to do with them. So I dug out those chunks, looked around the kitchen and thought ha! Marmite! Yes friends! This delicious meal is made with marmite! Not that you can taste the marmite, so don’t worry if you’re a hater! 😛 I often stir a spoonful of marmite into foods without thinking, but this… this had thought! How was I going to get those soya chunks all flavoursome!?

So I put some Marmite, some tomato puree, a few spices and a bit of stock powder into a pan, added some boiling water to help mix it all together, then added the soya chunks and left them. I tried one which was chewy! Yuck! Don’t do that! Test them by squashing them between your fingers. When they are ready, they should be very soft and squashy! Then they are ready to use. If you have a slow cooker, you can use that – just add everything, set it to high and leave it for 6-7 hours, if not, follow the recipe!

5 from 1 vote
stew in cumplings in a white bowl
Vegan Stew & Dumplings

Soya chunks in a rich gravy with diced veg… and some dumplings too!

Created by:: Laurena @LifeDietHealth
  • 1 teaspoon marmite (or other yeast extract)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1/2 teaspooon garlic granules
  • 1 teaspoon salt (we used pink Himalayan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon stock (or 1 stock cube)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups dried soya chunks (not mince)
  • 1/2 small onion diced
  • 1 medium potato diced
  • 1/2 medium leek diced
  • 1 medium carrot diced
  • 1/2 carton (200ml) passata
  • 50 g vegetable suet
  • 100 g plain flour gluten free if required
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 tablespoons cold water
  1. Put the Marmite, tomato puree, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and stock in a large pan and roughly mix together. Add the two cups of water and mix well. Put the soya chunks in the sauce, mix to coat and leave to soak. The liquid should cover at least half of the chunks.

  2. While you are waiting for the soya chunks, dry fry the onion in a small pan. De-glaze the pan with a bit of water and repeat until the onions are browned.

  3. When the chunks are soft (anything from 30-60 minutes), and most of the liquid has been absorbed, put the pan on a low heat. Add the cooked onions, potato, leek and carrot and stir to combine.

  4. Pour the passata over and add extra water if you think it needs it. Cover and allow to cook for 30 minutes. 

  5. Prepare the dumplings by mixing together the suet, flour, baking powder, pinch of salt and the water. It should make a soft pliable dough. Divide the dough into 8-12 pieces and shape into rough ball shapes (add a bit of flour to your hands to stop them sticking).

  6. Uncover the stew, check the liquid content, stir, taste test and adjust seasoning if necessary. Carefully place the dumplings on the stew, replace the lid and cook for a final twenty minutes.

  7. Serve & enjoy!

Tips & Storage
  • Make it spicy by switching the paprika for chilli powder.
  • If you don’t like/have marmite, use 2 teaspoons tamari/soya sauce instead.
  • Add some dry fried quartered mushrooms with the veg.
  • Add some 1/2 a teaspoon of our favourite herbs or a couple of tablespoons of grated cheese to the dumpling mix before mixing.
  • If you don’t have soya, try with Quorn chunks or any other vegan chunk substitute! 
  • Serve with fresh vegetables such as broccoli and peas.
  • Leave the dumplings off and just have the stew, or make mini dumplings.
  • Store refrigerated for up to three days.
  • Can be frozen without the dumplings for up to one month.



I will most definitely be sharing this over at Angie’s Fiesta Friday this week which is co-hosted by Julianna @ Foodie on Board and Angie herself!

Please come over and visit the party and if you want to add a post, remember to follow the rules by linking to the Fiesta and the two co-hosts so everyone can find you (and you have a chance to be featured the following week)! Also, don’t forget to visit some of the other posts and leave a like, recipe rating or comment! See you there! 😀

If you’re new to cooking, or plant based cooking and need some kitchen inspiration or you’re after some ingredients, check out the above links, or have at look at the items below which are great for this recipe! If you’re in the UK, don’t forget it is nearly Mothering Sunday (Sunday 31st March) and I think that either of the bowl sets would make the perfect gift! 🙂 

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Oh, and of course, if you make this stew & dumplings (or any of our other recipes), please post your photos using #LifeDietHealth or @LifeDietHealth so we can see your creations! 🙂 We love to see your interpretations of our recipes!

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Speak soon, Have a great weekend and make some memories! 😀

Laurena x


  • Need Vegan Umami? Wow with this easy Stew — Life Diet Health | My Meals are on Wheels 23rd March 2019 at 01:31

    […] via Need Vegan Umami? Wow with this easy Stew — Life Diet Health […]

  • Angie | Fiesta Friday 26th March 2019 at 02:21

    Guess what?! I bought soy chunks, too. They’ve been languishing in the pantry all this time. Thanks for the idea, and what a great idea it is. I also bought marmite, btw. Yup, I’m crazy alright. Not that marmite buyers are crazy, but marmite dislikers who do buy it are. I consider myself that, a disliker. Therefore, crazy 😀

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 26th March 2019 at 15:18

      You bought Marmite? What like real actual Marmite? Over there? Okay, so, the idea is that you put it on butter (on toast, bread, crackers), but very very thinly… thinner than that (pretend it is English mustard)! It is not to be eaten from the jar or slathered on like peanut butter! Oh.. talking of peanut butter, Marmite have just introduced marmite peanut butter… ? Anyway, I hope you get to use your soy chunks! This recipe is so good! (with the marmite)! You SO have to like Marmite crazy lady!!! 😛 xxx


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