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 winter warmer with a kick of English mustard to provide the all important heat to put fire in your belly!
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Flat Leaf Parsley
Vegetable Stock Powder(ContainsCelery)
Mature Cheddar Cheese(ContainsMilk)
Preheat your oven to 200°C. Peel and chop the onion and carrot into ½cm cubes. Halve, then remove the core from the pepper and chop into 1cm cubes. Roughly chop the chestnut 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. TIP: It needs to be thin to cook properly.
Heat a splash of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring until soft, 4-5 mins. Add the pepper and mushrooms, along with a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper. Cook, still stirring, until they are also soft, 5 mins.
Next, add the lentils and Provençal herbs to the pan and stir well. Pour in the water (amount specified in the ingredient list) along with the vegetable stock pot. Add the tomato purée, mustard (add less if you don't like heat!) baby 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 black pepper, then pop the hotpot on the top shelf of your oven. Bake 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, about 5 mins.
Serve the hotpot into bowls and garnish with the remaining parsley. Enjoy!