Veg with edge: Baked split pea, sweet potato and rosemary stew
This recipe goes against the grain, quite literally, by baking split peas with sweet potatoes plus a subtle umami hit from the mushrooms.
200g dried split peas, soaked for at least 2-4 hours
800ml-1 litre (approx) vegetable stock
salt and pepper
oil, for frying
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, leaves included, finely chopped
1 large leek, sliced lengthways, roughly chopped
500g (approx) button mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 large sprig of fresh rosemary, finely chopped (or 2 heaped tsp dried) plus a tad extra for sprinkling
1 small-medium sprig of fresh thyme, finely chopped (or 1 heaped tsp dried)
2 tsp dried oregano
4 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 medium sweet potatoes
a pinch of dried chilli flakes
- Preheat the oven to 210C/ 190C fan/gas 6½. Place the split peas in a pot along with 750ml of your vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then lower to a simmer to allow the split peas to become tender. This should take around 20 minutes. Once cooked, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Drizzle a dash of oil into a medium pan over a medium heat, and cook your onion, carrot, celery and leek until soft and fragrant. In a separate pan, over a low heat, cook your mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce or tamari. They’ll start to soften and become a slightly darker brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- To the onion, carrot, celery and leek, add your rosemary, thyme, oregano and garlic. Continue to cook for a further few minutes. You can add a dash of water if your pan is drying up. Once fragrant, add the balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix together your split peas, mushrooms and onion mixture, then put into a large baking dish with another 50ml of the stock.
- To prepare the sweet potatoes, wash them well then, using a sharp knife, peeler or mandoline, create thin slices (no larger than 1cm thick).
- Start to layer your sweet potatoes on top of the split pea mixture, season again with salt and pepper if necessary, and add the chilli flakes and remaining rosemary.
- Put this into the oven on a middle shelf and bake for about 40-50 minutes. The liquid will start to disappear and the split peas will become even softer. The top will start to brown and the potatoes will cook through. You can use the remainder of your stock (approx 200ml) to add gradually to the dish if it’s starting to look a little dry, and to prevent the potatoes on top from burning.
- Remove from the oven and allow to sit for a few moments before serving.