Braised lentils with cheesy dumplings

Braised lentils with cheesy dumplings

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  • 4
  • Easy
  • 20 minutes
  • 1 hour

"In my experience, there are few people who don’t like a dumpling. There’s something so deliciously comforting about them. Here they top a delicious lentil stew that’s bursting with veg, and is enriched at the table with crème fraîche. Perfect for a cold and blustery day." – Alan Rosenthal


  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
  • 2 celery sticks, cut into 5mm slices
  • 1 small leek, trimmed and halved lengthways, then cut into 5mm slices
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 2 T tomato purée (paste)
  • 350 g dried puy lentils, rinsed
  • 2⁄3 cup white wine
  • 4 cups hot vegetable stock
  • 2 T Dijon mustard
  • 4 T roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ¾ cup crème fraîche, to serve sea salt and freshly ground
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For the dumplings
  • 2 T Marmite
  • 200 g self-raising flour
  • 100 g vegetable suet
  • 75 g Cheddar, coarsely grated

Cooking Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6.

2. In a small bowl, dissolve the Marmite in 75ml (2½fl oz/5 tbsp) boiling water. Add 75ml (2½fl oz/5 tbsp) cold water. Set aside. Melt the butter with the oil in your wide shallow pot over a medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, leek, bay leaves and thyme, along with a pinch of salt. Cook for 12 minutes or so, until the vegetables have reduced in volume and the onions and leeks have softened.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the dumplings. In a large bowl, mix together the flour and suet. Using your fingertips, rub the suet into the flour, reducing the size of the suet pieces slightly. Now mix in ½ tsp salt and a good grind of black pepper, along with the Cheddar. Pour in the diluted Marmite, then, using a metal spoon, gently mix the ingredients together until everything is incorporated and you have a sticky dough. Wet your hands and form 12 golf ball-sized dumplings. Set aside on a plate for later.

4. Returning to the pot, add the garlic and tomato purée (paste) to the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes. Add the lentils, wine, the stock and mustard, along with 2 tsp salt and ¼ tsp black pepper. Mix well and bring up to a simmer, then put on the lid and transfer to the oven for 15 minutes.

5. Remove from the oven, take off the lid and add the dumplings, placing evenly across the surface (they will sink very slightly). Cover again and cook for 15 minutes. Finally, remove the lid and cook for 10 more minutes to get a crust on the dumplings.

6. Top with roughly chopped parsley and serve with a bowl of crème fraîche at the table.

This is an extract from Foolproof Veggie One-Pot by Alan Rosenthal. It’s published by Quadrille an imprint of Hardie Grant Publishing. Photographs: Rita Platts.

Find more vegetarian recipes here. 

Alan Rosenthal Recipe by: Alan Rosenthal
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Alan Rosenthal is a chef, recipe writer, cookery teacher and supper club host. He has been teaching his one-pot cooking courses at Leith's since 2010. He also authored Foolproof Veggie One-Pot

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