This is an easy stew; a simple main course made using ingredients you can buy with little money.
It is a vegetarian dish and the herbs used give it a full and robust flavour.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes.
500gr chesnut mushrooms
20gr dried porcini mushrooms
1 red onion
200gr butternut squash, roughly chopped
200gr celery and 1 carrot (cut into thin slices)
2/3 garlic cloves
500gr dried brown lentils (soaked in water for at least a few hours or overnight)
3 tbsp tomato puree
700ml vegetable stock
1 handful of parsley roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
1tsp chilli flakes
2 sprigs rosemary (finely chopped)
3 sprigs thyme (finely chopped)
1tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp fresh ginger (grated)
2tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper
Soak the porcini in 500ml of hot water for about 15 minutes.
In a casserole, fry in some oil the chestnut mushrooms with 1tsp salt and black pepper over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, until brown.
Take the porcini out of the water, chop them and add them to the other mushrooms for another 5 minutes (keep the porcini water for later).
Add some more oil in the same pan and fry the onion, the celery, carrot, garlic, and the remaining salt for 10 minutes, until soft. Add all the herbs and the mushrooms. Add the chilli flakes to taste then the lentils, tomato puree and the porcini water filtered.
Pour in the stock and stir.
Bring to boil and cover. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cook for about 40/50 minutes until the lentils are cooked.
Taste and adjust seasoning.
Serve warm drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with parsley.