A quite elegant veggie stew dinner, Healthful, fulsome, warming, as tasty as it’s pretty….

Posted on April 21, 2013


Elegant veggie stew

Sometimes you just want a big pot of something that you can get a couple of meals out of but that won’t just look like gloop. Something pretty, something orange, but not just orange, something with lentils and squash and fresh herbs and fennel and spinach and other nice yummy things, that will be easy to make yet look like it’s made with love, which if course it will be. You just don’t want it to take an age to prepare and there’s no reason why it should.

Let me introduce you to this quite elegant looking veggie stew I made the other day, in next to no time.

I fed this to my husband with some sausages on day one and a lamb steak on day two. I had it on  it’s own on day one as I didn’t need a heavy meal, but also had the lamb steak for day two. it really is a rather fabulous dinner  and clearly open to endless variations, but perfect done this way:

Quite an elegant veggie stew:

Assemble your ingredients:

  • Onion, celery, fennel, butternut squash, puy lentils, spinach, fresh coriander

Cook your lentils:

  • I use puy lentils because the brown colour contrasts nicely with the rest of the dish, ordinary lentils will taste nice too.  give them a rinse in cold water then put them in a pot with 2.5 times as much water as lentils, or so, and cook for 20 mins, or so

Choppity, chop, chop:

  • Skin and chop the onion, pop it in a good big pan with some oil and start to cook gently
  • Chop that butternut squash – don’t skin it (waste of time, totally unnecessary) just cut it into nice big thick slices and get rid of the seeds.  The nice big slices are what will make your stew look extra pretty.
  • Pop the butternut squash in with the onion, stir it round to coat with the oil and carry on cooking gently with the lid on (this is called sweating, if you don’t know, it gets all the flavours out)
  • Chop the celery – 2-4 sticks is good, depending on how much you love it and how  many you’re feeding, pop in the pan with the other veg and keep sweating.
  • Do the same with the fennel, fennel is a really pretty vegetable, cut it’s bottom bit off as that might be a bit grubby, but then just slice it so you get lovely slices of the whole bulb which will look stunning in your stew.

Then just let everything cook till the lentils and veg all have the consistency you like to eat them at. If the lentils are cooked first just drain and keep them on the side till the veg is ready – you will know the veg is cooked when a sharp knife slides easily through one of your big slices of squash.

When all is cooked, just do your spinach and assemble the dish, thus:

  • Mix the lentils with the veg in the big pan and keep the lid on so all stays nice and warm – stir in some fresh chopped coriander.
  • rinse your spinach in cold water, in a colander. Then pour boiling water from the kettle over the spinach, it will wilt, it is cooked, you can now serve it.
  • serve all together, meat can be served on the side for any died in the wool carnivores who may be dining with you.

Everyone will love this dish.



Elegant veggie stew

Quite an elegant veggie stew