Autumn Vegetarian Cobbler

A warming vegetable-based dish that's perfect as the days draw in. The suggested vegetables are those that are in season in the autumn and winter, but can be substituted for seasonal spring or summer ones at other times of year.

This recipe was originally featured in Veggie Comfort Food by Josephine Ashby, published in 2016 by National Trust Books.

Main courses
Vegetarian cobbler from Veggie Comfort Food, published by National Trust Books
  • Preparation time 45–50 minutes (prep. time)
  • Cooking time 20–30 minutes (cooking time)
  • Serves 6


  • 2 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp mild paprika
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into large cubes
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small swede, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 x 400g/14oz cans borlotti beans, drained
  • 500g/1lb 2oz passata
  • 2 tbsp muscovado sugar (optional)
  • 1 tbsp chopped oregano
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the topping

  • 175g/6oz self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 85g/3oz butter, diced
  • 110g/4oz cheese, grated
  • 2 tsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • a few tbsp water or milk



  1. Heat the oil or butter in a large pan, add the onion and fry for 10 minutes until soft but not browned. Add the paprika, squash, carrots, parsnips and swede, stir well and cook for a few minutes. Add the borlotti beans, passata, sugar and herbs, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the tomato purée and add more seasoning if needed.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6 and make the topping.
  4. Put the flour and salt in a mixing bowl and lightly rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  5. Add two-thirds of the grated cheese and the rosemary . Stir in enough water or milk to make a thick dough.

To make the topping

  1. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it lightly to ensure the ingredients are well mixed. Roll it into a circle about 2cm/¾in thick. Cut the dough into 5cm/2in scones with a cookie cutter, cup or knife, or simply cut the circle into wedges.
  2. Transfer the cooked vegetable mixture to an ovenproof dish. Arrange the dough pieces on top, brush with a little milk and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  3. Bake in the oven for 20–30 minutes until the topping is well risen and the cheese has melted.

Serve on its own or with a lettuce and tomato salad.