Food

Big Issue Recipe Collection: Delicious lentil stew will warm you up and costs just a few pounds

This reader's recipe is cheap to prepare and a comforting winter warner

Image: Nina Firsova / Alamy Stock Photo

Rosy Hunt in Norwich sent us her recipe for this lentil dish, which is packed with healthy vegetables and uses a little Marmite for added depth of flavour. Lentils are a really good source of protein, yet are cheap to buy and particularly easy to prepare if you opt for tinned.

Rosy told us: “This is a good budget recipe and is great with mashed potato. It can easily be made vegan without using dairy in the mash.” She also had this top tip for fussy palates: “Hide under a layer of mash if kids are wary of trying lentils.”

Ingredients 

1 onion
1-2 sticks of celery
1 carrot
2 tbsps of cooking oil (olive if you like but vegetable or sunflower are fine too)
1 tin of cooked lentils
1 tsp vegetable stock
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
Pack of mushrooms
1 tsp of Marmite
Salt and pepper to taste
Bag of potatoes for mash with a splash of milk and knob of butter (use vegan versions if you like).

COST The whole meal should cost about £6, more if you’re buying Marmite especially, but you can just leave it out.

1. Slice the onion thinly and fry with the celery and carrot for 10 mins on medium in a tablespoon of cooking oil.

2. Add the lentils for a couple of minutes stirring (if you have a bottle open, you could add a glug of red wine now and let  it burn off, stirring for a couple  of minutes)

3. Stir in a teaspoon of vegetable stock to about 250ml of boiling water in a jug/bowl and add.

4. Add the tinned tomatoes. Leave to simmer while you do the next bit.

5. Fry the mushrooms in a separate pan in the remaining oil and when they’ve shrunk and gone dark, about five mins, add to the lentil mix.

6. Add Marmite if using – you may want pepper and salt – though try it first as vegetable stock is salty.

7. Leave for a few mins to simmer, turning it up to bubble while you stir, if it’s too wet. Serve with mashed potatoes.

TIP: You can add any veg you need to use up, such as spinach (see image). It’s nice served with roasted cabbage. (To roast cabbage, just quarter any cabbage, and roast with a bit of oil drizzled over and a pinch of salt on about 180°C for about 20 mins – even the black leaves are tasty.)

You can also use dry lentils (lentils vertes) instead of tinned which are even cheaper. It’s not essential, but some prefer to soak them first. Weigh out 100g dry, and before cooking rinse in cold water. Cook them in a separate pan according to packet instructions.

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine, which exists to give homeless, long-term unemployed and marginalised people the opportunity to earn an income. To support our work buy a copy!

If you cannot reach your local vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member.

You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play

Support your local Big Issue vendor

If you can’t get to your local vendor every week, subscribing directly to them online is the best way to support your vendor. Your chosen vendor will receive 50% of the profit from each copy and the rest is invested back into our work to create opportunities for people affected by poverty.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
34 places where kids can eat free or for £1 during the summer holidays
kids eat free/ easter holidays
Cost of living crisis

34 places where kids can eat free or for £1 during the summer holidays

'Out of touch': Rishi Sunak urged everyone to 'buy British' food – but there are several big problems
General election 2024

'Out of touch': Rishi Sunak urged everyone to 'buy British' food – but there are several big problems

Special Olympian and COALPIT Welsh Cake founder Michael Benyon shares his favourite recipes
Food

Special Olympian and COALPIT Welsh Cake founder Michael Benyon shares his favourite recipes

World's first fine-dining restaurant staffed by homeless people to open in London
Home Kitchen restaurant is set to be staffed by homeless people in London
Homelessness

World's first fine-dining restaurant staffed by homeless people to open in London

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know

The Big Issue

Sign up to get your FREE Doctor Who Archive Special

Celebrate the 14th series with your FREE edition of the Dr Who Special Archives