Moroccan Lentil and Aubergine Soup

This Moroccan Lentil and Aubergine Soup is a current favourite: mildly spicy, incredibly fragrant, and singing with coriander and parsley.

1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2cm piece ginger, grated
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1 aubergine, small dice
800ml vegetable stock
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp suitable-for-vegans brown sugar
1 red chilli, halved lengthways and de-seeded
100g red lentils, rinsed and picked over
Suitable-for-vegans plain yoghurt (I used soy)
Coriander and parsley, minced 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat a deep skillet over a medium low heat. Spray with a little cooking spray, and sauté the onions until they start to soften. Add the garlic, ginger, and spices for about 30 seconds. Stir in the aubergine, stock, tomatoes, and mix through the brown sugar. Add the red chilli, and sprinkle the lentils over the top, mixing in very gently. 
2. Cover and simmer 20 minutes, or until the aubergine is soft. 
3. Top with suitable-for-vegans plain yoghurt, minced herbs, a shake or two of paprika, and salt and freshly ground black pepper. If you find coriander soapy, remove as much of the stem as possible from the leaf, and discard the stem before mincing the leaf.

“But I Can’t Cook” Lentil Bolognese

About 10 minutes to put together. Cheap as chips. If you can open cans and jars and set a kitchen timer, you can make this. Serves 2.


150g dried spaghetti
1 x 400g can green or brown lentils
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp salt (1 tsp for the spaghetti water; 1 tsp for the sauce)
1 tsp maple syrup
A few handfuls of baby spinach


1. Boil a kettle full of water. Transfer it to a large saucepan over a medium-high heat and sprinkle in one of the tsp of salt. Add the spaghetti, and set the kitchen timer to the time advised on the packet.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients to a smaller saucepan. Simmer on low until the spaghetti is cooked.
3. When the spaghetti is cooked, drain.
4. Add the sauce to the spaghetti. Taste, and promise never to tell yourself that you can’t cook again.

Beluga lentil, masa dumpling stew with roasted poblano peppers

With kale, cabbage, dumplings, and a number of spices, this is a flavourful and filling stew. This makes 1 large bowl or 2 small ones. Garnished here with a little nutritional yeast and sour cashew cream.


For the stew
1 poblano pepper, cored and seeded
3 cups water, divided
1/4 cup lentils
1/2T smoked paprika
1t dried ground cumin
1/2t dried ground coriander
1/4t dried red chilis (I use 1/2t)
1/4t black pepper, freshly ground
1/2t dried oregano, rubbed
1 cup green cabbage, shredded (I use coleslaw mix)
1/2T fresh garlic, minced
1T fresh scallion, minced
1/2 cup tomato passata (or puree)
1 cup green curly kale, roughly chopped
2T masa harina mixed with 1/4 cup warm water
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the dumplings
1/2 cup masa harina
1T tapioca flour
1/2T milled flax seed
A good pinch coarse sea salt
1/3 – 1/2 cup hot water

Optional: You can use vegetable stock with this for a little extra flavour, but you may find it superfluous. Garnish with capers, flat leaf parsley, black or white sesame seeds, nutritional yeast, black olives, or cilantro for a little extra flavour. While the stew uses masa harina as the
thickening agent, cornstarch, tapioca flour, and arrowroot flour will also work.


Start with the stew, and then the dumplings.

Preheat the oven to 450F. Core and seed the poblano. Cut into quarters length-wise and roast until lightly blistered. Expect about 20 – 30 minutes, but ovens vary. Use the colour and skin texture of the pepper as your guide. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool. Coarsely chop and
add to the stew when the lentils are ready.

In a medium pan with a lid, bring 1/2 cup water to a simmer. Add the lentils and kombu. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes. Drain the lentils (reserving the kombu).

Either dry the pan, or use another to toast the dry spices for 2 -3 minutes or until they’re nice and aromatic. Add the lentils, kombu, remaining water. Return to a light simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer another 5 – 10 minutes until the lentils are still lightly firm but done.

When the lentils are soft, add the poblano, cabbage, garlic, and scallions. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer another 10 minutes or so until the cabbage is lightly wilted but still a little crisp.

While the stew simmers, make the dumplings. Mix the masa, tapioca, salt, and flax. Whisking with a fork, add the hot water. Mix and knead until a solid but elastic dough forms. If you need to add additional hot water, do so. Roll into balls, about 1T in size. Let them dry on the cutting board will the soup finishes.

When the cabbage is the right texture, uncover and bring the pan to a simmer on medium high. Remove the kombu. Add the dumplings and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Add the passata and stir to combine. Stirring
continuously, add the masa solution. Simmer another 2-3 minutes uncovered, stirring regularly until the masa has thickened. Remove from heat. Add the kale. Stir to combine. Let stand 2 minutes for the kale to wilt and the stew to cool.

Season to taste. Ladle out. Garnish with nutritional yeast, sour sesame or cashew cream, white or black sesame seeds, minced black olives, capers, parsley, cilantro or whatever you enjoy.

Black lentil, mushroom and vegetable stew with potatoes and sauerkraut

With carrots, kale, spinach and sweet onion, this is a rich and flavourful stew that doesn’t require a lot of preparation. This makes 4 small bowls or 2 large ones.


1/4 cup beluga (black) lentils
1/2 cup water
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu (about 2″)
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2t coarse sea salt (or to taste)
1 1/2 cup carrots, 1/2″ dice (I use purple)
1 large portobello mushroom, 1/2″ dice (about 1 1/2 cup)
1 large red pepper, cored, seeded, 1/2″ dice (about 1 – 1 1/4 cup)
1 large floury potato, 1/2″ half-moon slices (about 2 cups, I use organic russet)
1 small sweet onion (about 1 1/2 cup), 1/4″ slices
1T fresh garlic, minced
2t smoked paprika
1/2t dried marjoram, rubbed
1t prepared brown mustard
1/4t black pepper (I use 1/2t)
1/4t red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 cup tomato passata (or puree)
2T arrowroot flour dissolved in 2T cold water
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup green curly kale, coarsely chopped
1 cup baby spinach
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup white sauerkraut (I use unpasteurized)

Optional: Add a good pinch of crushed caraway seeds for a little extra flavour. Add a medley of mushrooms if you prefer. Maitake, cremini, porcini, even a little morel, will all go well in this. Replace the greens added at the end with 1 cup sauerkraut and 1 cup shredded green cabbage added with the other vegetables if you prefer. Add a little wine, cashew butter, and/or oil for a richer stew. Slowcook if you prefer; prepare the lentils as directed, but add everything up to and including the passata, cook on low for several hours and then finish as directed.


In a large frying pan with a lid, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Add the lentils and kombu. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes. Drain the lentils but reserve the kombu. Return the lentils to the pan.

Add everything up to and including the red pepper flakes to the pan, potatoes first, onions last. Return the pan to a light simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.

After an hour, the potatoes should be fork tender and the lentils completely cooked. Uncover, increase heat to medium low and add the passata. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

At the 30 minute mark, remove the kombu. Add the arrowroot mixture slowly, stirring continuously until it thickens. Remove from heat. Add the nutritional yeast. Add the spinach and kale. Stir to combine.

Let stand 3 – 5 minutes to wilt the greens. Season to taste. Ladle/spoon out, garnish with sauerkraut and serve.