RECIPE: Vegetarian stew with garlic breadcrumb topping

A classic meatless winter stew, or a side dish

14 May 2018 - 10:17 By Hilary Biller
Vegetarian stew with garlic breadcrumb topping.
Vegetarian stew with garlic breadcrumb topping.
Image: Craig Scott

Serves: 4


1 bunch of leeks, well washed and cut into 2.5cm chunks

4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2.5cm chunks

4 stalks of celery, cut into 2.5cm chunks

1 medium butternut or large sweet potato, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks

4-6 courgettes, sliced into 2.5cm chunks

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

65ml (¼ cup) olive oil

4 sprigs of thyme and parsley

1 bay leaf

2.5ml (½ tsp) ground nutmeg

1 x 400g can cannellini beans (or any white beans), drained and rinsed

Breadcrumb topping:

1 litre (4 cups) fresh white breadcrumbs

85ml (⅓ cup) olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

A small bunch of parsley, finely chopped


  1. Combine all the vegetables in an oven roasting dish so they fit snugly (about 2-litre capacity) and add the garlic, olive oil, herbs, bay leaf and nutmeg. Toss to mix and roast at 180ºC for 40 minutes.
  2. Add the beans to the roasted vegetables and toss gently to mix.
  3. Before returning to the oven toss the topping ingredients together, ensuring the bread crumbs are coated in olive oil. Spread the topping over the vegetables and beans and roast for another 20-30 minutes until golden brown and the crumb topping is crispy.