A good hearty stew is definitely not something you should be missing out on just because you’re vegetarian or vegan. Rich, comforting stews are often traditionally meat-based, but the same satisfying quality can easily be achieved with plant-based ingredients.
At the heart of this simple stew are Linda McCartney vegetarian sausages. These can be found In the frozen section of most supermarkets. They are the best veggie sausages I’ve tried in terms of texture and taste, also perfect for replacing meat in stews when cooked and chopped into pieces.
Red split lentils are also key in this dish to provide the satisfyingly thick and hearty sauce. This type of lentil break down during cooking, making them perfect for thickening stews.
Red wine makes this stew lovely and indulgent. If you’re vegan, make sure the wine you use IS vegan- many wines are (surprisingly) not!
- 1 pack of Linda McCartney Vegetarian sausages
- Olive oil
- 1/3 cup (75g) red split lentils
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 courgette, sliced
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 4 large ripe vine tomatoes, chopped
- 350ml vegetable stock, made with 1.5 tsp bouillon powder and boiling water
- 300ml full-bodied red wine
- 1.5 tsp Maldon salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- Cook the Linda McCartney sausages as per package instructions, minus 2 minutes (they will be cooked more when added to the stew).
- In the meantime, coat the base of a large pan or casserole with olive oil. Heat the oil and gently sweat the onions until soft.
- Add he carrots, courgette, lentils, bay leaf and tomato puree to the pan and stir well with a wooden spoon. Fry for another few minutes until veg starts to soften.
- Add the garlic, onion and cinnamon powders into the pan. Stir well and cook for a further minute.
- Once the sausages are cooked as per package instructions, chop them into nice chunks and add to the pan.
- Season the stew with the Maldon salt and black pepper, before adding the red wine and stock. Stir well, bring up to the boil then reduce down to a simmer.
- Simmer the stew for at least 30 minutes, until the lentils have broken down and the stew looks lovely and thick.
- Add the dried parsley and stir well just before serving. Have a quick taste to check for seasoning levels too.
This stew goes wonderfully well with a nice crispy baked potato. Roast potatoes would also be a delicious accompaniment.