Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Vegetarian Shepherd's PieNow this is where Peli comes up trumps every time. A few days ago we had totally forgotten that our good friends were coming over for dinner. We had planned a night in, and had not really given much thought about what to cook for our guests. She just walked into the kitchen, had a look in the (rather empty) cupboards and a little while later we were eating a yummy vegetarian shepherd’s pie. How she does that I do not know, but me and my belly love it. Our friends even had to have a little rest before pudding.

1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 butternut squash, diced
1 whole head of garlic, half finely chopped, half still full cloves
1 tsp mixed herbs
500g pack lentils (I used Merchant Gourmet Puy lentils)
1.7l vegetable stock
1 tin tomatoes
2kg floury potatoes, such as King Edwards
100ml milk
50g grated cheddar

Roast the butternut squash in a hot oven (200C) for 40 minutes until soft and the edges are browning. Add the garlic cloves halfway through and roast for 20 minutes until soft.

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a pan, then gently fry the onions and garlic for 15 mins until soft and golden. Add the tinned tomatoes
and simmer for a few minutes. Stir in the herbs, and add the lentils.

Pour over the stock and simmer for 40-50 mins until the lentils are very soft. Now season to taste and take off the heat.

While the lentils are cooking, tip the potatoes into a pan of water, then boil for about 15 mins until tender. Drain well, mash with the butter and milk, then season with salt and pepper. Add the roasted garlic to the mash and stir through.

To assemble the pie, add the lentil mixture to the bottom of a large oven dish, then top with mash. Scatter over the roasted butternut squash cubes, followed by the cheese.

Bake for 30 mins until the topping is golden.


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