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Versatile Stew (quick version)

Serves: 2–3
Time to prepare: 20 mins
Time to cook: 50 mins
Dietary requirements: Dairy-free, Egg-free, Kosher, Vegan


  • 1 medium leek
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • Olive oil
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 400g/14oz tin of plum tomatoes
  • 135ml/1/4 pint vegan porter or red wine (*use kosher wine if required)
  • 100g/3.5oz red lentils
  • 0.5 litre/scant pint vegetable stock (optional)
  • Vegan Worcestershire Sauce


  1. Trim and halve the leeks and celery lengthways. Chop into rough 2cm chunks. Peel and finely chop the onion and carrots into 2cm pieces.
  2. Place in a deep pot over a medium–low heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  3. Pick, roughly chop and add the thyme and rosemary leaves. Add the bay.
  4. Cook for around 10 minutes, or until soft and sweet, stirring frequently.
  5. Chop garlic and fry for another couple of minutes.
  6. Add the cloves and flour to the veg, stirring well to combine. Add the tomato purée and pour in the tomatoes and porter (or wine, if using).
  7. Add the lentils, cover with the stock or half a litre of cold water and stir well.
  8. Turn the heat up to high and bring to the boil, then reduce to medium–low and simmer for 40 mins or until lentils are soft. Add a splash of water to loosen, if needed.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for about 10 minutes.
  10. Add a good splash of vegan Worcestershire sauce.
  11. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy with Pappardelle pasta or creamy vegan mash and seasonal steamed greens.


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