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Vegan Comfort Pie

A delicious vegan take on cottage pie, this comforting dish of spiced kidney beans and chickpeas with a crisp mashed potato topping is the ultimate winter warmer.


This pie does exactly what it says! It is an old favourite of mine, and something I started making when the kids were small, but I’ve added a few more spices here to please my taste buds. You know when you’ve been for a long walk and your cheeks are stinging from the wind and you get home and all you want is something to warm your cockles and make you feel cosy? Well, this is the dish. Full of mood-boosting ingredients, it’s the ultimate wholesome dinner for anyone who needs some comfort.

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50ml olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 leek, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 carrot, chopped into smallish chunks
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cinnamon
400g tin kidney beans
400g tin cannellini beans
400g tin chickpeas
150g dried red lentils
400g tin chopped tomatoes
300ml veggie stock
2 bay leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp tamari
2 tsp dried thyme
a handful of parsley leaves
For the mashed potato topping:
350g potatoes, peeled and chopped
400g sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
50ml plant-based milk
50ml olive oil
mixed salad, tossed in olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, to serve

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First make the mash. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add all the potatoes and a pinch of sea salt and cook for 20 minutes, until soft.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in another large saucepan set over a medium heat. Fry the onion and garlic for 2 minutes, until starting to soften.

Add the leek, celery and carrot and continue cooking on a low heat for about 5 minutes, until they soften.

Add the paprika, cinnamon, beans, chickpeas, lentils and chopped tomatoes. Give it a really good stir then add the stock and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper and simmer on low for 15 minutes, until the lentils are soft. (Add a little extra water if it’s starting to look too thick – it should have the consistency of a shepherd’s pie filling.) Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Drain the spuds and mash them with a little plantbased milk and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

Stir the tamari, thyme and parsley through the pulses mixture and spoon it into a large pie dish (remove the bay leaves if you can find them!).

Spread it out evenly and top with the mash. Run a fork through the mash and bake for 35–40 minutes, until the edges of the mash are crispy.

Serve with the mixed salad.

You can make the mashed topping with any root veg, such as carrots or parsnips, or try it with cauliflower.

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