Smoky Cauliflower & Lentil Stew
Lovely, smoky cauliflower and lentil stew – super wholesome and incredibly delicious. A recipe you’ll make again and again.
I’m so excited that Autumn is finally here. I’m such a sucker for the leaves changing colour, the feeling and sound of stepping on a fallen leaf, the crisp winter’s air making its way through the trees and our bodies craving enormous bowls of delicious goodness to warm us up after work.
Plus, with the change in season comes a new yield of delicious ingredients to gather and get my hands on. I always like to eat with the seasons. It gives you such a challenge in experimenting with certain ingredients during their short-lived time and some of my favourite recipes have been discovered that way.
There is something almost magical about indulging in a certain vegetable to then not eat it again for another year. It makes the taste so much more vibrant and allows you to fall in love with it all over again. And that’s exactly where the inspiration for this recipe came from.
I wanted to create something that was super delicious and warming and had those smoky undertone flavours I’ve come to love and utilise in probably about 80% of my recipes (if something isn’t broken, why try to fix it, or that’s what my Mum used to always say!) and pair it with some of these amazing Autumnal vegetables that are popping up all over the place.
I’ve used cauliflower, which you know is one of my favourite ingredients, and paired it with deliciously earthy red lentils and lots of spices, before topping it with a creamy tahini dressing for an added layer of luxury. This recipe uses cumin, smoked paprika, ground coriander and chilli flakes to really build a base layer of flavour and then adds a smokey depth that amazes against these two earthy rich ingredients.
But please don’t be scared of all the different spices that this recipe has. They perfectly balance each other out and mean you’re able to easily adjust to your own heat and spice preference.
I absolutely love spicy food after travelling around the Middle East for many years, so I always add in an extra pinch or two when I make this dish. Also, skip a few of the scarier and more intense spices if you are making this for a family of little ones.
I also love to stir in a little coconut yogurt for an added hit of creaminess. This is entirely optional, but I highly recommend.
I also finish this dish with lots of fresh coriander for an almost peppery kick to the final dish and then serve it with some chunks of fresh sourdough bread or deliciously fluffy flatbreads (I have a quick step-by-step tutorial on how to make the best effortless flatbreads here) as they are the perfect vehicle for soaking up and scooping up all that gorgeously rich liquid.
This dish is perfect to batch cook and take to work for lunch. The lentils will keep you full to power through the afternoon, or even for a quick mid-week dinner. Lentils are actually one of my favourite ingredients as they are low in calories, rich in iron and an excellent source of protein, plus they can bulk out so many types of dishes making them the ultimate store cupboard essential to stock up on.
The recipe is super simple to create and because it’s cooked all in one pan, makes the washing up a breeze!
I always make extra portions when creating this recipe because the flavours are even better the next day once they have developed and infuse all the wonderful components, plus it freezes and keeps really well, making it the perfect meal-prepping dish. Just portion out and freeze in jars or individual portions and thaw overnight in the fridge–it can be kept in the freezer for a few weeks.
If you like this recipe, why not give one of my other smoky inspired recipes a try?
My Smoky Lentil and Walnut Bolognese with Crispy Roast Potatoes perfectly combines comfort and delight.
My Whole Roast Cauliflower with Smoky Tomato Sauce, Chickpeas and a Cucumber Mint Dressing is a show-stopping delight.
And, my Roast Cauliflower and Aubergine with Smoky Red Pepper and Chickpea Stew combines all of my favourite vegetables, covers them in a delicious smoky sauce and them wraps them up in a fluffy flatbread–the most delicious vehicle of flavour and texture.
Smoky Cauliflower & Lentil Stew
- 1 onion roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 carrots chopped into small dice
- 4 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 150 g cherry tomatoes sliced
- 1/2 cauliflower cut into small florets
- 825 ml veg stock
- 150 g red lentils rinsed
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tsp vegan Worcester sauce
- 1 tsp tamari
- 1 tbsp coconut yogurt or cream–optional
For the tahini dressing
- 2 tbsp tahini
- Juice 1 lemon
- Pinch sea salt
- Splash water
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- In a large saucepan, fry the onion with the olive oil on a medium heat until soft and browning.
- Now add the carrots and garlic and fry for a further 2-3 minutes. Add in the spices and fry for a minute.
- Now the cauliflower, cherry tomatoes and fry for a further 2 minutes.
- Add in the stock and lentils plus the tomato purée, tamari and Worcester sauce
- Cover and simmer on a low to medium heat for 15 minutes or until the lentils and cauliflower are tender.
- Stir in the coconut yogurt if desired.
To make the dressing
- Add all the ingredients to a mini chopper and blitz until creamy.
- Spoon the stew into bowls and drizzle with the tahini dressing.