Monday, October 17, 2011

Recipe: Tomato, Leek and Bean Hotpot

This is a family favourite and in my opinion one of my mum's best recipes. All the time that I was making this, dad kept coming back in from the garden, and walking past me in the kitchen saying "ooh, one of my favourites this is!". Can't say I blame him- this dish is incredibly comforting and delicious, as well as being pretty good for you too. I used the first leeks i've picked this season to make this, and i think despite having a fair amount of other ingredients in it, the flavour of the leeks really shine through. Its amazing though, when i harvest my homegrown leeks, there is such an aroma- such a strong onion-y garlicky smell. I sware that homegrown vegetables just smell much more "vegetabley" then their supermarket counterparts (the lush smell of homegrown tomatoes holds no comparison atall in my opinion, to shop bought toms). If you don't have a food processor, just try and slice the potatoes as thinly as possible.

Tomato, Leek and Bean Hotpot (serves 4) £1.21 per portion with 200g peas.

2 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large or 2 medium leeks, sliced
2 large or 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
300ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp marmite
800g potatoes, peeled and sliced very thinly (using a food processor slicing attachment if possible)
50g butter
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a saucepan, fry the onions and garlic in the olive oil for 3 minutes. Add the leeks and carrots and cook covered for a further 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Preheat the oven to 180C. Add the tinned tomatoes, kidney beans, stock and marmite to the vegetables, season to taste, and set aside. Pour this mixture into a large casserole.
3. Top the bean and vegetable mixture with all of the sliced potatoes. Every full layer, add a little bit of salt and pepper. Once you have layered up all the potatoes, dot with the butter, put the lid on, and bake in the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes.
4. Remove the lid, and if the potatoes need any crisping up, put under the grill for a few minutes. Serve!

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