Makes 12 portions


40g dried porcini mushrooms

4 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, peeled and finely diced

6 garlic cloves, peeled and grated or finely chopped

1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and finely diced

2 tsp smoked paprika

400g button mushrooms, finely diced

125ml red wine

3 bay leaves

2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes

1 x 680g jar passata

500g green lentils, rinsed

4 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp pul biber (mild Turkish chilli flakes)

150g walnuts, chopped

2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder

1 small bunch of basil (approx. 20g)

flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Start by placing the porcini in a large jug, pour over 1 litre of just-boiled water and leave to one side to soak for 30 minutes

2. While the porcini are soaking, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and a pinch of flaked sea salt and cook for 5 minutes until softened but not brown, stirring occasionally

3. Add the carrot, smoked paprika and button mushrooms, turn the heat down to low and continue to cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally

4. Add the wine, turn the heat up to high and bring to the boil. Use a spoon or spatula to scrape up all the flavours from the bottom of the pan and stir well.

5. Add the bay leaves, tinned tomatoes, passata, lentils, oregano and pul biber.

6. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the soaking porcini mushrooms, roughly chop and

add to the pan. Pour in the porcini soaking water, add a generous pinch of flaked salt and a grind of black pepper and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 30 minutes, stirring deeply and

thoroughly every few minutes, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan.

7. Add the walnuts, bouillon powder and 500ml of boiling water.

8. Stir through the torn basil leaves, cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.