It’s often assumed that ‘hot pot’ refers to the earthenware pot that is traditionally used to cook casseroles in British cuisine, but it is actually more likely to be connected with what lies within, which would have been a ‘hodgepodge’ or jumble of ingredients. A true veggie warmer with a kick of wholegrain mustard to provide the all-important heat to put fire in your belly!
- Preheat your oven to 200°C. Halve, peel and chop the onion into small pieces. Remove the top and bottom from the carrot (no need to peel!), quarter lengthways, then chop widthways into small pieces. Halve, then remove the core from the pepper and chop into small pieces. Roughly chop the mushrooms. Drain and rinse the lentils in a sieve. Roughly chop the parsley (stalks and all). Cut the potato (no need to peel) into ½cm thick slices.
Heat a splash of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring, until slightly soft, 4-5 mins. Add the pepper and mushrooms, along with pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until soft, 5 mins.
- Next, add the lentils, Provençal herbs and tomato puree to the pan and stir well. Pour in the water (see ingredients for amount) along with the stock pot. Add the mustard (see ingredients for the amount – add less if you don’t like heat!), spinach and half the parsley. Stir together, then simmer for 3-4 mins. TIP: It might look like a lot of spinach initially but it will wilt down!
- Transfer the lentil mixture from the pan into an ovenproof dish. Layer the potato slices over the top. TIP: Don’t overlap the slices too much otherwise they won’t all cook at the same rate. Drizzle with oil and season with a few grinds of pepper. Bake the hotpot on the top shelf of your oven for 20-25 mins. TIP: The potato will sink slightly into the sauce as it cooks, this is perfectly fine!
- While the hotpot is in your oven, grate the cheddar cheese. Once the 25 mins baking time is up, remove the hotpot from the oven and turn your grill to high. Scatter the cheese over the hotpot and grill until melted and golden, about 5 mins.
- Serve the hotpot in a bowl and finish with a sprinkling of the remaining parsley. Enjoy!
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