Toss the parsnips with a little oil, salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet. Roast in a hot oven for about 25 minutes until golden brown with lovely little crispy bits
Meanwhile, make the casserole. Saute the onion and garlic until soft. Add the other vegetables, excluding the mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking for a further few ninutes.
While the casserole is bubbling, make the dumplings. Mix everything together with enough water to make a soft dough. Make 16 walnut sized balls from the mix.
Add the stock to the vegetables with most of the cider and the bay leaf and bubble for 5 minutes, stirring now and then. Dissolve the flour in the remaining cider and stir into the casserole to thicken. Put the dumplings into the top of the casserole, immersing them most of the way in. put a lid on and bubble gently for 10 minutes or so until the dumplings are cooked.
Serve with the parsnips scattered over the top
If you need more calories, serve it with mashed potato. You can vary the flavours in the stew by varying the vegetables used. If you don’t have any cider available, just use the stock cube, or you could try using apple juice if you have it
Any mix of (mainly) root vegetables you have and like can used in this casserole – swede, turnip, celeriac, celery etc.
Big beans like kidney or butter beans would make a delicious addition
If you don’t have any cheese for the dumplings, just leave it out , it will still taste fine
A big handful of fine chopped herbs would be lovely added to the dumplings, you could really ring the changes here. How about basil and coriander; rosemary; thyme; coriander and mint