Mushroom and Lentil Stew

Lentils are such a staple in my cupboard! They’re so good for bulking out a meal. I love mixing the green and red ones so that you have some that retain their shape and some that sort of drift into thick sauciness. Plus you can flavour them with whatever you like! Mushrooms are a great shout as their earthy savouriness really comes to the foreground of this one.

Put an egg on this and it’s brunch. Have a slab of bread and a bit of cheese on top and it’s dinner! It’s the ultimate versatile, make in advance and throw in the fridge meal.

I used a mix of dried porcini mushrooms and normal chestnut mushrooms but you can just use whatever you have lying around. I also used chicken stock because I’m a meat eater, but if you wanted to keep this plant-based just swap out for stock of your choice (and obviously leave off the egg).

Mushroom and Lentil Stew

Makes 4-5 servings

  • 150-200g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • About a mug full of green lentils, rinsed
  • Half a mug full of red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp Henderson’s relish
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Soak the dried mushrooms in 250ml hot water in a heatproof bowl for 20-30 minutes. While they soak, finely chop the onion, the chestnut mushrooms and mince up the garlic. In a big pan, fry the onions first for a couple of minutes before adding the chestnut mushrooms and the minced Ip garlic. Add a bit more oil if you need to.

Drain the dried mushrooms, using a sieve and keeping all the liquid that is drained off. Give the mushrooms a quick rinse to get rid of any sand or grains before adding to the pan and cooking for a couple of minutes. Add the lentils, the mushroom water and the chicken stock.

Next add the bay leaf, Henderson’s and the rest of the spices. Stir well and reduce down to a low heat for 30-40 minutes until the red lentils have disappeared and the green lentils are nice and soft.

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