Shepherd’s Pie

This is an ultimate comfort food, perfect for a cosy winter afternoon in. This shepherd’s pie is includes a bit of lentils and carrots topped with lovely parsnips and potato.

Ingredients:

100g (1/2 cup dried lentils

1 onion, chopped

Olive oil

1 garlic clove peeled and

Chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

200g (2 cups) chestnut mushrooms,diced (optional)

150g (1cup) peas

125ml (1/2 cup) red cooking wine (optional)

Vegetable stock cube

1 tsp yeast extract

1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 tsp mixed dried herbs

Topping

4 parsnips, peeled and chopped

2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped

250ml (1 cup) soy milk

A couple of sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked

Pink Himalayan salt and freshly ground black

1.Preheat the oven to 200°C/4000°F/ Gas 6. Start by cooking the lentils according to the packet instructions.

2.While the lentils are cooking, cook the parsnips and potatoes for the topping. Place both in a saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes until softened, stirring regularly.

3.Meanwhile, set a large saucepan over a medium-high heat and fry the onion in a little olive oil for 5 minutes until softened, stirring regularly.

4.Add the garlic, carrots and mushrooms if using to the pan. Fry for a couple of minutes and peas.

5.Once the lentils are cooked, drain and add to the them the saucepan along with the peas.

6.Pour 125ml (1/2 cup) boiling water into a jug, add the red wine or replace with extra water (if not using), the stock cube and yeast extract and stir to stir to dissolve.

7.Pour into the pan along with the tinned tomatoes and dried herbs and stir. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 15 minuets.

8.When the parsnips and potatoes are cooked, drain and mash with the soy milk and salt and black pepper until smooth.

9.Transfer the cooked vegetables and lentils to a baking dish and evenly spoon over the parsnips and potatoes mash, right to the edges of the dish, using a fork to fluff up the mash.

10.Toss the thyme in olive oil, sprinkle over the mash and bake in the hot oven for 30 minutes or until golden.