This is a veggie dish, but the lentils make it a very ‘meaty’ and satisfying meal. I have prepared this literally from what bits I could find lurking in our fridge. So not only this is a cheap dish, as it does not include meat, but it’s also great to cut your food waste. You can replace the vegetables I used with whatever you happen to have (I would only keep carrot and celery stick as essential).
I only thought of posting this after we ate the meal. It was so good! But this means that there is no picture (the food is gone) and I can’t weigh the ingredients. Which is fine, as it can all be described in the god old fashioned a-handful-of-this-and-a-pinch-of-that way.
Winter Warmer Veggie Stew
5 handfuls of green or brown lentils
1 handful of red lentils (optional)
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 medium carrot, cut in pound thickness slices
1 celery stick, roughly cut
1 large field mushroom, roughly chopped
1/2 aubergine, diced into 1 cm cubes
1/2 pepper, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
3 allspice ‘berries’
1/2 teaspoon of dried rosemary or thyme
we don’t use salt, but feel free to add it
1. Heat the olive oil in a thick-based pot on a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook for a couple of minutes. Add garlic and cook further couple of minutes. Boil 1 litre of water in the kettle. In the meantime chop up vegetables and add them as they are ready. The order is not very important, but if you are using mushrooms and aubergine use these first. Stir all the vegetables together and cook for 5 minutes to soften them up.
2. Rinse the lentils under a running tap. Add them to the vegetables and pour enough water from the kettle to cover everything. Add all the spices. Bring to boil and turn the heat to low. Cook with a lid on stirring every now and then. Add more water as it gets absorbed. You don’t want to be left with to much liquid at the end.
3. Lentils will cook in 30-40 minutes, depending on variety. They should still have some bite left in them.
4. Enjoy on it’s own or with crusty bread.
I hope you’ll like this as much as we did (and your bank balance should be happy as well).
What is your favourite warming dish on a chilly long evening?