175g/6oz green lentils
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
a good pinch dried mixed herbs or basil or oregano
1 red and 1 green pepper, stalk and seeds removed, and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 x 400g/14oz cans chopped tomatoes
1 heaped tbsp tomato purée
300ml/½ pint vegetable stock (make with a stock cube or bouillon powder)
100g/4oz frozen peas
3 tbsp vegetarian pesto
175g/6oz mushrooms, wiped and quartered
1 courgette, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the green lentils in a large bowl and pour boiling water over them. Leave to soak for 30 minutes (Alternatively, buy a tin of pre-soaked lentils.) Drain.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion and garlic together with the dried herbs until the onions are softening.
Add the peppers, carrots and drained green lentils and cook for 5 minutes, stirring all the time. Add the tomatoes, purée, stock, peas and pesto, bring to the boil and simmer until the lentils are tender (about 30 minutes). Add the mushrooms and courgettes and simmer for 5 minutes more.
Season to taste and use in one of the accompanying recipes.
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