Veggie Hotpot with Biscuit Topping

Nothing is quite as inviting as a bubbling stew topped with flaky biscuits; it can make us feel cozy and nurtured, like snuggling in a soft quilt in front of a roaring fire. This stew creates a relaxing, nourishing energy that calms and centers the mind and provides the endurance you need to get through the day with grace. 

Makes 3-4 servings

Ingredient List: 

Vegetable Filling
Avocado or extra virgin olive oil
3-4 shallots, peeled, diced
sea salt
2 teaspoons brown rice syrup
6-8 Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved
1 small rutabaga, 1-inch chunks
1 small (or ½ medium) butternut squash, seeded, 1-inch chunks
1 cup cooked chestnuts*, whole
spring or filtered water
organic soy sauce
3-4 tablespoons arrowroot flour

Biscuit Topping
1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry or sprouted wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 cup avocado oil
1/4 cup coarsely minced walnut pieces
½ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk

Step By Step Instructions: 

Heat a small amount of oil in a deep skillet. Sauté onions, with a pinch of salt, until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add brown rice syrup and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, over low heat for minutes to caramelize the onions. Add sprouts, rutabaga, squash and chestnuts and stir over high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add water to just cover the bottom of the pan, season lightly with soy sauce and simmer, covered, over low heat for about 10 minutes, to tenderize the vegetables. Turn off heat and gently stir in arrowroot flour to coat. Transfer mixture to a deep casserole dish. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375o. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and basil together. With a fork or pastry cutter, cut oil into flour mixture until you create the texture of wet sand. Stir in walnuts and slowly add “milk” to create a smooth dough. Cover loosely and set aside to allow gluten to relax.

Roll out dough between two sheets of parchment (or on a floured surface) to about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into 2-inch rounds with a glass or biscuit cutter, taking care not to turn the cutter--just press into the dough and pull up.  (Turning can take the air from the dough, making heavy biscuits.) Cover the top of the vegetable mixture with biscuits, allowing the filling to peek through. Brush the top lightly with oil and bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove the over and bake for 15-20 minutes more to brown the scones.  Serve warm.

* To prepare the chestnuts, you have several options: canned or frozen, both are fully cooked; dried chestnuts require soaking for 2-3 hours and pressure cooking for 20 minutes; fresh chestnuts may be oven-baked or boiled for 25 minutes and peeled while warm. You can also buy frozen chestnuts and skip the cooking step.