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Spicy Tomato Lentil Stew with Lemons & Prunes


A warm, aromatic dish packed with plenty of nutrients: that is all I crave at this time of the year. Yum!

Another reason I love stews is, as more often than not, they are my ‘let’s clean the fridge out’ meals. So this lentil stew I tried in a million different ways but below I’m typing my favourite version with some additional options too.

And please don’t get scared of the ingredients list. Most of them are spices. 🙂

Equipment: oven, roasting tray, baking paper

Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 30 min

Difficulty: easy




  • 120g brown lentils (rinsed under running water)
  • 2 leeks
  • 250g butternut squash
  • 3 tbsp. rapeseed oil, for roasting
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil or rapeseed oil, for the stew
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1-2 carrots
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable bouillon
  • 400g tinned tomatoes
  • ½ tub tomato puree
  • Juice of 1 ½ fresh lemons
  • 12-15 prunes, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. Tamari or Light Soy Sauce
  • 200g Cavolo Nero
  • Freshly ground black pepper & salt to taste
  • 3 spring onions, chopped to serve


  • 2 onions instead of leeks
  • Sweet potatoes instead of butternut squash
  • Spinach or kale instead of cavolo nero
  • Fresh tomatoes instead of tinned ones
  • You can also add some chopped baby sweet corn or runner beans


1. Preheat the oven to 220° C

2. Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds and chop into 2 cm squares. Peel the carrots (unless they’re organic), chop into 1 cm rings. Peel the garlic. Lay a roasting tray with baking paper. Using a silicon brush, paint it all with rapeseed oil. Spread the butternut squash and carrots on top in a single layer. Roast for 15 minutes. Add the garlic cloves to the roasting tray and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes, or until golden. Remove and put aside.

3. Roughly chop the leeks and place in a frying pan. Add coconut oil and fry on a high heat, constantly stirring, for about 10 minutes, or until lightly golden.

4. Turn down the heat; add cumin, turmeric, oregano, smoked paprika, ginger and chilli flakes and fry for about 2 minutes.

5. Add vegetable bouillon, lentils and 750ml of water. Simmer for 15 minutes.

6 .Add tin of tomatoes, tomato puree, lemon juice, prunes, Tamari and cook for another 10 minutes.

7. In the meantime, remove the stems from cavolo nero and loosely chop the leaves. Add to the frying pan, stir the roasted vegetables in gently and cover with a lid. Simmer for another 10 minutes, until the leaves become wilted.

8. Grind fresh black pepper on top and add salt to taste.

9. Serve hot on a bed of rice with chopped spring onions on top and perhaps a dollop of soya yogurt (if you happened to make it too spicy for your taste!).


30 November 2016