Next up in our recipes series from Claire Thomson (5 O'Clock Apron), is this hearty sausage and lentil stew that is perfect for chilly evenings. The recipe makes use of another family favorite, sausages, this time with the help of nutritious pulses. Another brilliant recipe to get the kids in the kitchen building their skills.
You can make this recipe ahead, the leftovers are delicious and it also freezes beautifully.
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 celery stalks, trimmed and finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped or sliced
2 bay leaves, scrunched a little
300g Hodmedod’s green lentils
4 tbsp olive oil
Splash of cider vinegar
Pipers Farm Plain Pork Sausages, as many as you like
For the Salsa Verde
1 small bunch of basil
1 small bunch of parsley
1 small bunch of mint
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp capers, desalinated and rinsed, if necessary, or use pickled
3 – 4 fillets of anchovies
1 tbsp cider or red wine vinegar, plus more to taste, if necessary
4 tbsp olive oil, plus more to taste, if necessary
Big pinch of salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Rinse the lentils in cold running water and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
To make the salsa verde you can chop all the ingredients by hand or use a blender or food processor. Finely chop the herbs, garlic and capers together, processing the lot along with the vinegar and olive oil, next add the anchovies along with a good pinch of salt and also some black pepper and process to combine. Check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper, as necessary. Salsa verde can be made to a smooth or rough consistency, as you like. Put the salsa verde in a bowl to serve at the table.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the onion, celery and carrots then cook for 10 minutes over a moderate – low heat, until very, very soft but without much colour. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.
Add the soaked and drained lentils and 1 tsp of salt and stir until the lentils are well coated with the oil and vegetables, then add enough cold water to cover the lentils by about 1cm of water. Bring the pan to the boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer and cook the lentils for around 30 minutes until tender, or to your liking. Keep an eye on the pan and top up with a little more boiling water if necessary.
With the lentils cooking, fry the sausages in a spot of oil over a moderate to low heat until cooked through and nicely bronzed, around 8 – 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
With the lentils cooked, remove from the heat and add a splash of vinegar to taste, checking the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary, to taste.
Serve the lentils with the sausages and a big dollop of salsa verde.