Life’s a Feast: Tuscan lentil stew

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PREP TIME: 10 mins

COOK TIME: 40 mins

SERVES: 4-5 people

Packed with plant-based proteins and loaded with nutrients, this simple vegan stew can be whipped up in no time at all. There is an alternative for those who prefer a little meat in their diet, but lentils are so hearty and filling; I challenge those carnivores out there to give this vegan option a go!

I promise you will not miss the meat (my husband is a testament to this). Although the ingredients list looks a little long, it’s just basic everyday things you will likely have in your pantry or fridge.

So nourish your body with this budget-friendly recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 large onion, diced

1/2 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced celery

1 courgette, grated

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup vegetable broth (add a little more if prefer more soup-like stew)

1 can chopped tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1 can brown lentils, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon lemon

120g bag of baby spinach

Fresh basil, for garnish

2 chorizo sausages, sliced (for non-vegan option)

Method

In a large stock pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and saute until it starts to soften, about 6-7 minutes. Add garlic and continue to saute another minute.

2.If creating non-vegan option, add in the chorizo now and cook until the gorgeous red juices start to be released from the chorizo.

3.Pour in vegetable broth, rinsed lentils, tomatoes, thyme, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer.

4.Partially cover pot and simmer for about 25-30 mins until all the vegetables are tender. Add more broth if needed, but I prefer mine quite thick. Stir in lemon and spinach and cook until wilted. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.

5.When you’re ready to eat, garnish the lentils with some fresh basil if you have it, and serve with some fresh bread. For non-vegan, you can serve with a generous topping of Parmesan too.