35mins to prepare
1hour to cook
● 2tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
● 1 large onion, chopped
● 2 large carrots diced
● 1 celery stick, diced
● 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
● 425-450ml vegetable stock
● 400g cherry tomatoes
● 125g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
● 125g red lentils
● 1tbsp tomato purée
● 1/2tsp dried oregano
● 1/2tsp paprika
● 125g spinach
● 1kg potatoe, peeled
● 25g butter
● 5tbsp milk
● 100g grated mature cheddar
● 3tbsp snipped chives
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions until softened and starting to brown. Add the carrots, celery and garlic and fry for 4-5 minutes.
2. Tip in 425ml of the stock, the tomatoes, mushrooms, lentils, tomato purée, oregano and paprika, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer gently, part covered with a lid, for 20-25 minutes until the lentils and carrots are just cooked and the liquid is absorbed to give a thick, juicy sauce.
3. Put the spinach in a large heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over so the leaves wilt, then immediately drain in a colander and put under the cold tap. Squeeze out as much moisture as you can with your hands, then chop and stir it into the cooked lentil mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Chop the potatoes into chunks and cook in boiling water for 12-15 minutes or until tender.
5. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6, 200℃, fan 180℃. Drain the potatoes and return to the pan to dry out briefly over a very low heat. Put in the butter and milk and mash until smooth and creamy.
6. Using a wooden spoon, beat in all but a handful of the cheese, the chives and season to taste. Spoon the lentil mix into 4 individual ovenproof dishes, about 600ml (or use one large dish).
7. Spoon over the mash, then scatter over the rest of the cheese. Place the dishes on a baking sheet, then bake for about 25 minutes, or until the topping is golden and the filling bubbly.