A hearty vegetable stew, topped with a cloud of flavoursome mash, this dish is hard to beat when it comes to a hearty meal for those cold winter nights.
1 kg potatoes, peeled and quartered
400 g parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
150 ml non-dairy milk, room temperature
1/4 cup olive oil
40 g dried porcini mushrooms
600 ml (2 1/3 cups) hot water
750 ml (3 cups) vegetable stock
270 g green or brown lentils, rinsed
2 bay leaves
1 onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp chopped thyme
500 g mushrooms (chestnut, portobello, oyster or wild) sliced
3 tbsp tomato paste
100 g frozen peas
1 tbsp cornflour
Cook potatoes and parsnips in simmering salted water for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain, return to pan and mash with the milk and 2 tbsp of olive oil. Season and set aside.
Cover the porcini mushrooms in the hot water and set aside. Meanwhile, simmer the stock, lentils and bay leaves for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain off any excess water and discard the bay leaves.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a pan and fry the onion, carrot, garlic and thyme until soft and caramelised, about 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F)
When the onion has almost finished cooking, drain the porcini mushrooms, save the soaking liquid and chop the mushrooms. Add to the onion mixture, the stir in the fresh mushrooms, tomato paste, peas and flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the porcini soaking liquid and lentils. The lentils and mushrooms should be bathed in sauce, so add a little water to loosen. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Pour lentil micture into a 30 x 25 cm (12 x 10 inch) oven proof dish. Spoon over the mash (mix a little more milk to mash if it is too thick) and spread it right up the edges with the back of a spoon. Bake for 40 minutes, or until bubbling and golden on top. Leave to stand in the dish for 5 minutes before serving.