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Farmhouse lentils

It is important to stir the simmering mixture from time to time, to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pan as it cooks.
This dish would go very well with bacon or ham, or plump sausages–especially herb-flavoured ones.

ingredients

serves 4
250 g (9 oz) split red lentils
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
850 ml (1 1/2 pints) chicken stock
500 g (1 lb) potatoes, cut into even-sized chunks
4 tomatoes, skinned, quartered and deseeded
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram or thyme
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper
100 g (4 oz) frozen peas
100 g (4 oz) button mushrooms, thinly sliced

method

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and fry over moderate heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Add the lentils, potatoes, tomatoes, herbs, paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the frozen peas and mushrooms to the pan, cover and simmer for a further 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are soft and the potatoes are cooked.

4. To serve: taste and adjust seasoning, then transfer to a warmed shallow dish. Serve hot.

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