- 2 onions
- 2 carrots
- 4 leeks
- 200g chestnut mushrooms
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 500g potatoes
- 400g tinned green lentils
- 1 bouquet garni
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1ltr boiling water
- 300g rainbow chard (or other seasonal greens)
Why not serve this stew with a hearty side of crusty bread for mopping up. To make it even more rich, grate over plenty of strong cheese such as pecorino, Parmesan or gruyere. For a vegan friendly boost, try adding a handful of dried porcini mushrooms to the stew at stage 5. They'll soften in the broth and give it an extra hit of umami.
1. Peel the onions and slice them thinly. Peel the carrots and dice them. Trim the roots and top 3cm off the leeks. Halve them lengthways and rinse well under a cold tap. Slice the leeks into chunky pieces. Slice the mushrooms thickly.
2. Peel the garlic and crush or finely chop it. Finely grate the lemon zest.
3. Pour 1 tbsp olive oil into a large pan and warm over a medium heat. Slide in the onions, carrots, mushrooms and leeks. Stir in the garlic and lemon zest, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Fry for 10 mins, stirring occasionally, till the veg have softened and are glossy.
4. While the veg fry, scrub the potatoes and cut into small chunks. Drain and rinse the green lentils.
5. Add the bouquet garni to the pan. Tip in the potatoes and lentils. Crumble in the stock cube and spoon in 1 tbsp Dijon mustard. Pour in 1 ltr boiling water and stir well. Bring to the boil, then pop a lid on the pan and reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook for 30 mins, or till the potatoes are tender.
6. Meanwhile, separate the chard leaves and stalks. Roughly shred the leaves and finely slice the stalks. When the stew has cooked for 30 mins, stir in the chard and cook for 5 mins to soften it. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon.
7. Taste the stew and add more salt or pepper if needed. Ladle the stew into warm bowls and serve.