Take a large pot and add 2cm or 1 inch of water then add the onions, carrots, parsnips, celery and garlic. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until soft. If the water evaporates too quickly, just add a little more. Keep stirring to ensure they don't stick to the bottom.
You're looking for the veg to soften and get a golden glow about them.
Sprinkle the plain flour over the veg, stir to mix it with the veg for one minute. Set aside.
In a bowl, add the stock, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and tomato puree. Add to the pot with the veg stirring to combine all the ingredients together. Add the bay leaves.
Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for 15 minutes. Keep checking it so it doesn't catch on.
Meanwhile, you can make the herb dumplings. Sift the wholemeal self raising flour into a bowl and stir in the vegan suet, herbs and a pinch of salt. Divide the mixture into four balls, making sure that you rub your hands with flour first so they don't stick to your hands!
Add the butterbeans to the pot then add the dumplings. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the dumplings are light and fluffy.
Season with black pepper and serve immediately. I served mine with steamed broccoli and cavolo nero, also known as black kale, black cabbage, Tuscan kale, or by its Italian names lacinato and nero de Toscana.