Vegan Lentil and Vegetable Winter Stew
Historically considered a food for the poor in many parts of the world, bulking up on lentils provided a solution to potentially meagre meals, especially in winter when summertime crops simply weren’t available. Dried lentils, when properly stored, can stay good for up to three years, and once cooked they can keep for up to one full week in the fridge.But aside from lentil soup and Indian dahls, there perhaps aren’t too many obvious recipes for lentils. And yet we really should be eating more of them. In fact, they should be placed on a pedestal for all their health-giving benefits. Lentils are high in protein and fibre, as well as potassium, folate (one of the B vitamins), and iron. Potassium can counter the negative effects of high salt intake and can lower blood pressure. Folate protects your health by converting carbohydrates into energy and making red and white blood cells, especially important when growing up and for expectant mothers. Iron helps support the immune system, as well as fighting fatigue. On their own lentils might be a little boring, but add in some extra ingredients and suddenly you have a flavoursome and belly-filling budget food.This lentil and vegetable winter stew is hearty, rich, and easy to make. The hardest bit is waiting for the lentils to soak overnight, although you can miss this step out if you buy them tinned. This recipe makes enough for you to keep some in the freezer and whip out to microwave whenever you need a quick, warming meal. To make the dish fully vegan, make sure to use a vegan Worcestershire sauce or use a mix of soy sauce and brown sugar instead.
- 1 ½ ltr vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 130 g frozen peas
- 4 carrots diced
- 4 stalks of celery diced
- 1 kg potatoes peeled and cubed
- 200 g brown lentils
- 2 tbsp mustard use English mustard if you want a strong mustard flavour, Dijon if you want a good bite, or wholegrain for more of a vinegar taste and crunchy texture – we used wholegrain
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce for non-vegan version, as the sauce traditionally contains anchovies
- 1 tbsp soy sauce if making vegan Worcestershire sauce substitute
- 1 tbsp sugar if making vegan Worcestershire sauce substitute
Add olive oil, onion and garlic to a large pot.
Sauté the vegetables over a medium heat for a couple of minutes.
Then add celery, carrots, and potatoes, and continue to cook.
After about 5 minutes, add the lentils, mustard, soy sauce (or Worcestershire sauce if making a non-vegan version), brown sugar, and vegetable stock.
Ensure everything is fully mixed and then place a lid onto the pot.
Turn the heat up high and bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for about 30 minutes.
By now the potatoes will be soft, so mash some of them to thicken up the stew. Keep some for chunky potato tastiness.
Finally, add the frozen peas and allow them to heat through.
Taste your stew, and add salt if required.
Serve with crusty bread for a filling dinner.
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