Smoky lentil stew with feta lemon curd
This is the kind of warm and hearty dinner that should be achievable, almost, from an empty fridge. It may be a depressing thought, but one that is incredibly consoling in times of need. A dinner where you could have got in from the airport, feeling cold and exhausted and into and even colder house, and can get straight to cooking from having a few good kitchen staples stocked in the cupboards - packets of lentils, jars of sundried tomatoes, dried herbs and spices, stock, passata and tomato paste. Its also something you can put together with great ease, making the base then everything into a pot, lid on, bath running and a glass of red wine poured. These dreary early months of the year scream for dinners like these. Healthy and comforting, slightly on a budget and also being mindful to cut back on your meat intake. We could have added smoked bacon, pancetta or chorizo cut into cubes, anything cured or smoked adds depth, but we quite like not eating meat all the time. Lentils are a great source of protein, also a good source of dietary fibre and iron, bringing a sort of earthiness to dishes which lends itself well to the more woodier herbs used. This dish really is quite delicious, scotch bonnets giving a different twist from the usual chillies, a distinctive warm, sweet taste and the feta lemon curd brings it all to life. This really is all you need for an evening in, we would recommend making more then enough and freezing in batches for easy go to dinners.