spiced veggie shepherd's pies


serves 4 generously, V

hands-on time 40 mins, total time 1 hr 15 mins

Make in individual dishes or bake as one larger pie.
Get ahead Make up to the end of step 4 up to a day ahead, cool, cover and chill. Bake from chilled for 30-40 minutes until piping hot through, cover with foil if it's browning too fast. The assembled pie can be cooled and frozen before baking; defrost and bake to serve.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely diced
1 celery stick, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp each ground coriander, cumin and cinnamon
½ tsp crushed chillies
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
400ml hot vegetable stock
1 x 400g tin Puy or green lentils, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste (optional)
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp each chopped coriander and mint

for the mashed carrot topping
1 tsp cumin seeds
750g carrots, peeled and cut into 2cm slices
500ml hot vegetable stock
a knob of butter
1 tbsp each of chopped coriander and mint leaves
1 x 200g pack feta cheese, crumbled

1 Heat the oil in a deep frying pan, cook the onion, carrot and celery gently for 10 minutes, until almost softened. Stir in the garlic, coriander, cumin, cinnamon and chilli, and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

2 Stir in the tomatoes and 400ml stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Stir in the lentils, tomato paste, if using, and garam masala; simmer for a further 5 minutes. Season to taste. Stir in the herbs.

3 Meanwhile, put the cumin seeds in a large saucepan, toast over a medium heat for
2 minutes, then add the carrots, cover with the stock and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes until tender. Drain well through a sieve (to keep the cumin seeds), then return to the pan and mash with the butter. Stir in the herbs, then briefly fold in the feta. Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6.

4 Transfer the lentil mixture to 4 x 300ml individual pie/baking dishes (or a 1.5-2 litre capacity baking dish). Spoon the carrot mash on top of the pies (or pie).

5 Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbling and golden.

353cals; 17g fat (10g sat fat); 17g protein; 12g fibre; 31g carbs; 22g total sugars; 4.2g salt