Two days ago we lost hot water and I’m pretty sure my life flashed before my eyes.

I screamed (gut instict).

Sophie screamed.

If we’re being honest…she was in the shower when it happened…and I was in my room with the heat on high.  She had rights.  I screamed in sympathy.


And it’s not really that we lost all hot water.  We just lost all HOT water.

Do you see the difference?

I know you’re all thinking, oh well that’s not sooo bad.  But you’re talking to the apartment of girls who wear sweatshirts when it’s 80 degrees outside.  Comfortably.

We wear layers.  In July.

We turn our ovens up to 500.  In August.  (Okay…that’s totally just me.)


And the thing about lukewarm water is that people understand why you haven’t showered when all you have to contend with is cold, frigid, straight from the Arctic liquid coming out of your faucets.

But trying to explain that you went to work dirty because, if you had taken a shower, your bones might have never gotten warm again without their daily scalding?  Well…it makes people kinda look at you funny.

Don’t worry. I’ve never let funny looks stop me from not showering.

I boycotted for a day and a half and no one was the wiser.  Then, if it had gone on for one more day, the plan was to have this stew piping hot and ready-to-go for when I emerged from the lukewarm tundra in my bathroom.  Thankfully, the water got fixed before then.

But I made the stew anyway.  I’m always in need of something to warm me up and this stew, with all of its hearty root veggies and hot spices and stick to your soul dumplings, fit the bill perfectly.  I should probably freeze some now so that the next time the water runs too cold for my blood, I’ll be stocked up.  If only I could stop eating it for long enough that such a thing could happen…

This week, a group of fabulous ladies and I are cooking some recipes influenced by Amanda Hesser of New York Times Cookbook and Food52 fame!  She’s number 22 on Gourmet Live’s list of 50 Women Game Changers in Food.

Check out these blogs for more of her recipes:
Val – More Than Burnt Toast
Taryn – Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan – The Spice Garden
Claudia – A Seasonal Cook in Turkey
Heather – girlichef
Miranda – Mangoes and Chutney
Jeanette – Healthy Living
April – Abby Sweets 
Katie – Making Michael Pollan Proud
Mary – One Perfect Bite
Kathleen –Bake Away with Me
Viola – The Life is Good Kitchen
Sue – The View from Great Island
Barbara – Movable Feasts
Kathleen – Gonna Want Seconds
Amy – Beloved Green
Linda – Ciao Chow Linda
Linda A – There and Back Again
Martha – Lines from Linderhof
Nancy – Picadillo
Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits
Veronica – My Catholic Kitchen


So…remember earlier this summer when I stuffed sweet potato fries down your throat and into your eyes and forced you to vote on them ad nauseum, all for the Reinvent A Classic contest I was participating in, sponsored by Alexia Foods?  Well…I didn’t win.  (But to check out the four finalists and vote on which of them should be the winning recipe, go here!)

But I’m okay with that.  Because it means that NOW, one of you gets the chance to win an Alexia apron, three coupons for a FREE Alexia product, and an autographed copy of Tyler Florence’s latest cookbook – Family Meal.  All you have to do to enter…leave a comment telling me whether you prefer regular french fries or sweet potato fries.  The winner will be picked randomly next Friday!

Other ways you can get involved?  TUNE IN this Saturday at 7:30PM PST for a LIVE cooking demonstration with Tyler Florence streamed right on Alexia’s facebook page.  OR vote for the next fry flavors to hit stores (also on the Alexia page, linked above) and get a free $1 coupon for an Alexia product.  OR enter a to win a trip for two to San Francisco with an exclusive meal prepared by Tyler Florence himself!


Curried Root Vegetable Stew with Dumplings
Serves 4, adapted from The Essential New York Times Cookbook


For the Stew:

    • 1 1/2 tsp unsalted butter
    • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
    • 4 cups vegetable broth
    • 2 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch lengths
    • 2 large parsnips, peeled, thick end halved lengthwise, cut across into 1/8-inch thick slices
    • 2 medium turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    • 3 tsp all purpose flour
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 1 tbsp freshly chopped Italian parsley

For the Dumplings:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp cold unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 tbsp almond milk or lowfat milk



  1. To make the stew, melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and curry powder and cook for 30 seconds.  Stir in the broth, carrots, and parsnips.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Stir in the turnip and sweet potato and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the dumplings, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl.  Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse sand.  Mix in the dried cranberries.  Stir in the milk, just to combine.  On a lightly floured surface, with floured hands, shape the dough into 1-inch balls.
  3. Form a smooth paste by stirring 1/4 cup of the simmering broth into 3 tbsp flour.  Stir this into the stew.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Place the dumplings on top of the simmering stew.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Divide the stew and dumplings among four bowls.  Garnish with the parsley and serve.

I am submitting this to Souper Sundays, hosted by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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111 Responses to Curried Root Vegetable Stew with Dumplings…and a GIVEAWAY!

  1. I’ve been craving some root veggie love, too, Joanne with this crazy weather. Love your stew!

    Btw, I definitely prefer sweet potato fries – I mean, they are healthier and taste way better. 🙂
    (sorry you didn’t win, though – your flavour sounded amazing!)

  2. OohLookBel says:

    Ooh, no hot water is a real nightmare (first world problems). I suppose boiling some water on the stove for a warm bath is too hard? Never mind, those dumplings look warming enough – to eat, not bathe in!

  3. This stew looks super tasty! I am currently obsessed with root veggies.
    And I am definitely a sweet tater fries gal! 🙂

  4. Simply Life says:

    definitely sweet potato fries!

  5. Big Dude says:

    It must be fall as you’re back in root and orange veggie heaven – the stew looks very good.

  6. Nicole, RD says:

    Cranberry dumplings!? Yes please! I wish our hotel room had a kitchen….I want some of this! Or did you pack some to go???? 🙂

  7. Kim says:

    First of all, the stew is brilliant! I’m in love with those cranberry dumplings.

    I think I like regular fries better, but it’s definitely a close race.

  8. I would die w/out hot water.

  9. Physics Lady says:

    That recipe looks amazing!

    I consider sweet potato and regular fries as separate and wonderful things. I couldn’t live without either!

  10. bellini says:

    As I am munching on cold leftover pizza for breakfast (even if I like cold leftover pizza) I am dreaming odf something warm and comforting.

  11. Mmmmm, cranberry dumplings, I’d be happy with just those. But the stew looks wonderful too. Your photos really show off the colors and textures, great dish!

  12. Jade says:

    Sweet potato fries are soo much better!

  13. Lea Ann says:

    As always, really nice photos Joanne. Those cranberry dumblings sound interestng. So many folks have been posting dumblings that I just want to make some ..

  14. Adrienne says:

    Right now I’d have to say sweet potato fries. I can’t get enough of sweet potatoes! This stew looks fantastic by the way. Can’t say no to a good dumpling 😀

  15. My husband always asks me if I’m trying to pluck chickens…cuz I like my showers piping HOT! So I completely understand. That must have been an extremely long day and half (was that it) or so! And I would be so happy with a bowl of this to warm me up right now…those dumplings totally make it. YUM!

  16. Shannon says:

    ooh, how interesting! i don’t know if i’m a fan of dumplings or not… i’m glad you had this to warm ou up 🙂

  17. Elizabeth says:

    This looks like a crazy kicked up matza ball soup 🙂

  18. The stew looks awesome! All my favorites! I love that you put cranberries in the dumplings! Are you going to hte Foodbuzz event this weekend? I want to go, but it’s $350 for me, and with Christmas coming I need to save for that! I would love to go to the Tatse Pavillion and see Tyler Florence do a cooking demo! Have a great weekend!!

  19. Jessie says:

    I’m sorry to hear you didn’t win the contest 🙁 I still think your fries were the best, of course! Sweet potato fries all the way, mmm.

    Poor Sophie! Nothing worse than being in the shower and having the power go out – dark AND cold. We lost power this past weekend for about 3 days, and my in-laws upstate STILL don’t have power.

    I’m glad you made this yummy soup – with incredible cranberry dumplings! This is definitely going on my “must make” list.

    Have a great weekend, Joanne!

  20. Anne says:

    I’m all about the sweet potato fries! But I’m also a serious fan of root vegetables…and, of course, dumplings.

  21. sofia says:

    sweet potato. hands down!

  22. ok if the word dumpling is in there then perhaps i could get a man to eat his veggies.

  23. Helene says:

    That story about cold water made me laugh so much this morning. I have problems taking cold shower. I was surprised to see cranberries in the dumplings. That must add a surprise taste to the stew. What a nice giveaway I love sweet potatoes fries.

  24. iscribbler says:

    That recipe sounds so yummy! I’m always on the lookout for new soups/stews since we have it at least twice a week around here. Definitely will have to try it out. 🙂

    I hope the water situation works itself out. I just hate it when the utilities don’t work like they’re supposed to. They’re not allowed to quit! 😉

  25. Kari says:

    I really want to love sweet potatoes but I’ll choose regular french fries every time.

  26. JC says:

    I love sweet potato fries
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  27. I love HOT showers and I LOVE these dumplings. Ok, hot shower would totally win though.

    Sweet potato fries are my favorite but no one else in the family likes them. Weenies.

  28. Astra Libris says:

    I thought I was the only one who’s always, painfully, extremely cold!! I’m not alone! Sending a July-sweatered hug! 🙂

    LOVE the dried cranberries in these amazing dumplings! So perfect with the curry!!

  29. brandi says:

    aw man, i was rooting for you! 🙂

    I love sweet potato fries, when they’re made right. they have to be super crispy!

  30. Chris says:

    I meant to make dumplings for my chicken fricassee but ran out of time. You are just taunting me with this, aren’t you? 🙂

    When we lost our water heater last year and it took two days to get the replacement, we heated water on the stove for hot baths. Reminded me of summers at my grandmother’s farm where I actually bathed in a galvinized metal wash bin (like a huge bucket).

  31. Amy says:

    “…who wear sweatshirts when it’s 80 degrees outside.” Yep, I can totally relate to that one! I’m always cold. Why do you think I can tolerate (and almost welcome) the 100 degree temps in Sac summers, and hardly survived the brutal MN winters. Paul says I’m 100 pounds soaking wet (which is soooo not true, bless him), but his point is the lack of body fat. And poor circulation form aging 🙁

  32. Dawn says:

    OMG loving this stew and yes I’m a sweet potato person myself. Oh! And I’m traveling up to Livingston NJ about three times over the next two months…I’m told it is not too far from the city so I’m wondering, if I can get to the city, where are some dinner and/or drinks places you might suggest. (and it would be awesome if you could meet up!) Not even sure I can get away at this point but doesn’t hurt to find out the hot spots if I can make it out.

  33. Jeanette says:

    So glad you made this root vegetable stew and liked it – I was going to try it, but didn’t get around to it this week….and we love sweet potato fries in our house.

  34. Sweet potato fries are deliciously addictive. They pair well with so many different flavors, I have to say they’re my favorite. But, regular, starchy potatoes make pretty dang good fries, too. 😀

  35. lmcteer says:

    Overall sweet potato fries, but really it depends on my mood!

  36. polwig says:

    I’m sorry you didn’t win but at least you tried 😉 I much prefer sweet pot fries and so do my kids (4 tomorrow :(). Love my sweet potatoes with Ranch dressing, so good

  37. Jenna says:

    I TOTALLY prefer sweet potato fries. Hands down. They’re awesome.
    And can I just say that I love how often you make meals that go in a bowl? Dare I call them ‘one-bowl meals’? It makes me go to my happy place.

  38. Alisa says:

    Oh yes, I know the difference. Honestly, showering would have to be at the point of necessity for me to take just a lukewarm shower. It has to be HOT. And I never stop using the oven in summer. I feel your pain 🙂

  39. Bmarsh88 says:

    Regular fries!!! There’s nothing like the salty, savory flavor of regular fries.

    And, I’m also deathly afraid of lukewarm showers. I want my skin bright red from the head when I’m finished!

  40. Sarah says:

    sweet potato fries, hands down!

  41. Mary says:

    Your stew looks wonderful, Joanne. It is perfect for a fall meal. I hope you have a great weekend. Blessings…Mary

  42. zac says:

    Sweet potato fries but with just salt and pepper not covered in some cinnamon brown sugar stuff.

    [email protected]

  43. Stef says:

    I love me some sweet potato fries! Thank goodness that this is the healthier choice, too 🙂

  44. You know I loves my sweet potato fries… hope I win the apron

  45. Deborah says:

    This stew looks absolutely perfect. In every way.

    And I don’t think I’d ever be able to choose between regular fries and sweet potato fries. That’s just wrong to have to choose! 🙂

  46. debbie says:

    The stew looks amazing. I am not a dumpling person but those look delicious and really different with the cranberries. I would love to try those! I love both regular french fries and sweet potato but if I have to pick one then I think good old french fries with skin on would be what I’d pick..They have to be on the fat side too!

  47. Geni says:

    Those dumplings look incredible. I might actually give up hot water for awhile if those were the trade-off. I know what you mean, I would HATE to have only luke warm water to shower with. UGH! This stew looks like it did the job though and so beautiful, healthful and hearty!

  48. Looks hearty and something to warm your cold bones on a winters day. Richard

  49. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    We lost power over the weekend (damn snow) and it was hard not having hot water. I love my daily hot showers.

    The stew looks amazing too. I love the little bit of curry and those dumplings look amazing! I need to make more soups with dumplings. They are so overlooked.

    Fun giveaway too. I like sweet potato fries when they are nice and crispy…yum!

  50. Mo 'Betta says:

    A hot shower is one of life’s greatest luxuries. I love the idea of cranberries in the dumplings. And you stay cold because you have no body fat. I, however, nice and warm….

  51. Cranberries and cinnamon in the dumplings! Interesting, and paired with curry. When is your restaurant opening?:)

  52. Danielle says:

    Sweet potatoes for sure – this stew looks great!

  53. SallyBR says:

    In all honestly, I prefer sweet potato fries, but I will hide that from all my family and friends back in Brazil. They would not speak to me again…


  54. Candace says:

    Cranberry dumplings? I’m in love….~sigh~

  55. When can I come over and eat this?

  56. Kristen says:

    I am totally and completely in love with those dumplings.

    I will always order sweet potato fries over regular.

  57. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, My water was on the fritz this week too!! So missed it!! Anyway, this stew sounds just perfecto!! I love curry and these dumplings sounds delish! Blessings my dear, Catherine xoxo

  58. jacqueline says:

    definitely sweet potato fries. i even like just roasting pieces of sweet potato in the oven – not even frying
    although i do looove chick fil a’s fries 🙂

  59. Anonymous says:

    oh sweet potato for sure.

    oh i can so totally relate to needing a hot shower to keep warm – especially this time of year. hope your water stays hot.

    jacquieastemborski AT comcast DOT net

  60. Anonymous says:

    Sweet potatoe casserole 🙂 delicious.

  61. Anonymous says:

    sweet potatoe casserole 🙂 delicious

    [email protected]

  62. No hot water would make me sad- glad your problem is resolved. This stew would warm me up though- love those root veggies! 🙂

  63. Carolyn Jung says:

    I think there should be a law that all stews must come with dumplings! LOL The two were made for each other.

  64. Veronica says:

    I would give my left breast (and that’s the bigger one, too) for that stew right now. Oh, Lordy, those dumplings look to die for. To distract myself I’ll enter your giveaway by letting you know that although I prefer sweet potatoes to potatoes, I prefer regular fries to sweet potato. How weird is that? But I bet if I had been there to taste YOUR lovely sweet tater fries, I’d change my tune. AAAAAAAAAA I want some of that stew!!!

  65. Pierce says:

    Oh that sucks about the hot water going out!! My sympathies 🙂

    Sweet potato fries for me please!!

  66. That Girl says:

    I am never more thankful to have a gym membership than when the hot water goes out.

  67. Sweet potato french fries every time 🙂

  68. That stew could warm anyone’s bones, looks delicious!
    Who could choose? Could I have some of each? With chipotle mayo?

  69. sally says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about the hot water! It sounds like a painful experience. Your stew looks fantastic though, and I love the addition of cranberries to the dumplings.

  70. The stew looks very comforting. Those dumplings are gorgeous!

  71. I hope this curry veggie dish have brought you some comfort and warmth.

  72. Ada says:

    Now how did you know I have 2 lbs of parsnips and 4 lbs of carrots in my fridge to use up? This stew looks amazing.

    Regarding the fries, I love both but it depends on who made them. I make the best french fries ever, so I prefer them home-made, but I loooove sweet potato fries in just about any other setting, and I know the Alexia ones are awesome.

  73. Happy to hear you got your hot water back! We lost ours for a night, on a rare evening when I actually wanted to take a bath. I love that the dumplings in this stew have cranberries in them! How fun.

    As for fries – I think I prefer regular fries.

  74. Can you imagine what it was like BEFORE showers? When half of you was submerged in nice, hot water and the rest of you was freezing. Not fun.

    Given a choice, it’s always sweet potato fries for me!

  75. Natalie says:

    are you at foodbuzz right now? if so, i’m SO sad i’m missing my chance to meet you!

    ps. sweet potato fries all the way

  76. Erica says:

    This is a rich and comforting,dish! I live in CT and we lost power for a couple days….I understand!

  77. Raina says:

    Bummer about your hot water! That stinks. With this latest storm, we thought we might lose ours but luckily didn’t. This stew looks wonderful, definitely a soul warming bowl.

    Great giveaway! I love Tyler Florence and fries, especially sweet potato:)

  78. Kelly says:

    Oh, these cranberry dumplings are a delight! What an inventive recipe Joanne – love the parsnips in your warming curry stew also. My sympathies for the loss of all HOT water – what a drag! Had to smile when I saw NY getting more snow than us… hee-hee 🙂 that sure doesn’t happen very often.

  79. sweet potato fries all the way. yellow sweet potatoes just might be the best:)

  80. teresa says:

    oh man, nothing is worse than a cold shower! this looks like the perfect thing to warm the bones. i love those dumplings!

  81. grace says:

    best dumplings ever, and i’m not just saying that. 🙂

  82. Corina says:

    I love the idea of those cranberry dumplings.

  83. Sanjeeta kk says:

    You are a veggie queen Joanne 🙂 what perfection and what lovely dish!

  84. daphne says:

    glad you got the hot water back! I totally dislike not having hot water- it’s a little luxury!!!

    And what a vege/healthy/vitamins laden dish! just an inspiration that I need.

  85. Barbara says:

    Those dumplings are to die for. I’d put dumplings on top of just about anything! (My mother did too! But hers didn’t hold a candle to these.) I know you’re not a meat eater, but wouldn’t these be divine in turkey soup?

    We don’t mind cold showers in Florida. *grin* But in an emergency (and we have them here too), I do a sink bath. Works and you don’t get chilled to the bone.

    (Your friend Marcus moved on by the skin of his teeth! Hope he comes into his own, but the competition is tough.)

  86. Penny says:

    Hope you have warmed up. The stew with dumplings would do it for me. I love sweet potato fries. They make me feel half healthy.

  87. Katie George says:

    I’m gonna have to go with sweet potato fries…this soup looks heavenly by the way.

  88. rathika says:

    Mmmm sweet potato fries!

    As a 2nd year med student in NYC, your blog has totally inspired me to make good food!

  89. tigerfish says:

    It’s french fries for me though sweet potato fries may cut my guilt sometimes.

  90. It’s finally turning to Autumn weather here in Arizona and this dish sounds like something my stomach is ready for. I love root vegetables.

  91. Gloria says:

    Those dumpplings look wonderful!!

  92. sweet potato! what an awesome giveaway 🙂

  93. LOL! Perhaps if it had have gone a day longer a couple of those cleansing wipes in front of the open over might have done the trick 😉
    Love the dumplings in this – sounds great!

  94. Such hearty goodness! For a while I had thought those dumplings were meat balls! They look great!

  95. Lori says:

    Unexpected cold showers are the worst. Well, cold showers in general aren’t the best way to start the day. I just love all your autumn goodness. This one sound so delcious. Those dumplings add such a nice touch.

  96. Reeni says:

    I feel your pain! My furnace gets crazy in the winter – sometimes cold showers are all I can get. Your stew looks excellent! Very comforting. I love the cinnamon cranberry dumplings!

  97. Yasmeen says:

    I thought I saw cranberries in those dumplings – smashing idea. Food52 is an incredible resource – no wonder Amanda Hesser was honored in the NYT cookbook.

  98. kyleen says:

    The stew looks delicious and so warming! I totally understand what you mean about bypassing cold showers. I went on an overnight camp trip with my school a couple weeks ago and while I was taking a shower, one of my friends in the other stall broke the handle or something and then the water turned cold. Not fun, especially since my cabin was pretty far away.

  99. Never tried such a dumpling and yours turned out gorgeous and nutritious as weell!

  100. SO delicious, Joanne. 🙂 I just discovered savory cobblers last year and am utterly smitten. I love your rendition so much. 🙂

  101. LESantay says:

    I love regular fries, sweet potato are good but regular will always be #1 in my eyes.

  102. Flo says:

    Sweet potato fries are so much better, especially with a sweet chilli sauce. BTW, I made your Butternut squash cabonara the other night and it was delicious. I am lactose intolerant and had no idea it didn’t cream. I feel like I have been missing out for years now!

  103. Avery says:

    Sweet potato waffle fries are my undeniable winners.

  104. Cara says:

    The first thing I was drawn to here was the cranberries – I imagine they totally make the dish! You know what else I bet would be awesome here? Dumplings made of chickpea flour.

    Yup, totally need to try this.

  105. JuLo says:

    I definitely prefer sweet potato fries. They have so much more flavor to me!

  106. Christine says:

    Hands down, regular fries, especially if they’re homemade! This recipe is just what I’d been thinking of, I needed something warm, rich and chunky since it’s supposed to rain for the weekend here in So Cal. Thanks!

  107. Jamie Walker says:

    OMG – looks AMAZING. Love the look of that stew and absolutely adore sweet potato fries!

  108. Dana says:

    Don’t enter me – I just have to tell you how delicious this looks. I don’t think I would ever have made that recipe just based on the ingredient list. But seeing it here on your lovely blog makes me rethink that.

  109. Johanna GGG says:

    you sound like you need those snuggly eskimo jackets (though of course I mean faux fur) – hope the hot water is back now – and that you have many layers to wear – and many bowls of delicious soup like this one

  110. Susie says:

    Hi, in the recipe you say 3 teaspoons of flour, but in the instructions, you say 3 tablespoons of flour. Which is it, please?

  111. Susie says:

    Actually, I made the curry without any flour, it was delicious!

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