Here’s a great dish that we serve on our retreats and it always goes down well  With so much focus on the menu for the ‘main event’ it’s always nice to have a few other ideas for veggie feasts lined up. This  fantastic dish is also simple to make. It’s a recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s book “River Cottage Veg everyday”.

Here’s how to make it …


  • 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of ginger
  • 100g of red lentils
  • 400g tin of chickpeas – drained
  • 8 saffron strands – toasted and crushed
  • 500mls roasted tomato sauce
  • A handful of parsley
  • A large bunch of coriander
  • 300g of squash
  • 1.2 ltrs of vegetable stock
  • 50g vermicelli or small pasta

In 8 easy steps:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan on a medium heat.
  2. Add the diced onions and sauté until golden brown, then turn the heat down to medium-low.
  3. Add the chopped garlic, celery, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon and ginger, and continue to sauté for a few minutes.
  4. Add the lentils, chickpeas, saffron, tomato sauce, parsley and half the coriander, then cook on a low heat for 15 minutes.
  5. Peel the squash, get rid of any seeds and cut into chunky cubes. Add it to the pan with the vegetable stock and cover with a lid. Leave to simmer for around 30 minutes.
  6. Add the pasta and simmer until cooked.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve, adding the rest of the coriander leaves to each portion as a garnish.