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Versatile Stew

Serves: 6
Time to prepare: 20 mins
Time to cook: 2 hr 30 mins
Dietary requirements: Dairy-free, Egg-free, Kosher, Vegan


  • 2 medium leeks
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 onion
  • 4 medium carrots
  • Olive oil
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 heaped tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes
  • 275ml vegan porter or red wine (*use kosher wine if required)
  • 200g red lentils
  • 1 litre vegetable stock (optional)
  • Vegan Worcestershire Sauce OR glug of apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp tamarind, 1 tbsp molasses


  1. Preheat oven to 170ºC/325ºF/gas mark 3.
  2. Meanwhile, trim and halve the leeks and celery lengthways. Chop into rough 2cm chunks.
  3. Peel and finely chop the onion and carrots into 2cm pieces.
  4. Place in a large ovenproof casserole pan over a medium-low heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  5. Pick, roughly chop and add the thyme and rosemary leaves. Add the bay.
  6. Cook for around 20 minutes, or until soft and sweet, stirring frequently.
  7. Chop garlic and fry for extra couple of minutes.
  8. Add the cloves and flour to the veg, stirring well to combine. Pour in the tomatoes and porter (or wine, if using).
  9. Add the lentils and any roasting juices, cover with the stock or 1 litre of cold water and stir well.
  10. Turn the heat up to high and bring to the boil, then cover and place in the hot oven for around 2 hours, or until the lentils are soft. Stir every hour or so, and add a splash of water to loosen, if needed.
  11. Remove the pan from the oven and leave to cool for about 10 minutes.
  12. Add a good splash of vegan Worcestershire sauce.
  13. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy with Pappardelle pasta, creamy vegan mash and seasonal steamed greens.

Tip: Turn this stew into soup by adding a good splash of boiling water and simmering to your desired consistency. VfL Chef, Ollie, loves this stirred through pappardelle pasta and served with a grating of vegan Parmesan or nutritional yeast on top.

For help finding a vegan wine, please find more information here.


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