Mushroom and lentil ragu
HEALTH,  Nutrition

Post-swim recipe: Mushroom and lentil ragu

Warm up after your swim with a flask of mushroom and lentil ragu – perfect with a big chunk of crusty bread

This time of year I want easy, versatile and nutritious food I can batch cook and style into different meals throughout the week. This ragu ticks all these boxes.

Serve with pasta for a plant-based spaghetti bolognese, with buttery mash for a cottage pie, or even take it to the beach in a flask with a nice chunk of crusty bread to warm you after a swim.


300g dried green lentils
600ml cold water
25g plant based butter
Tablespoon oil
4 shallots or one large brown onion
Sprig of rosemary/thyme/sage
1 large carrot
200g mushrooms (I use chestnut)
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tin of 400g plum tomatoes
1 vegetable stock cube (for 400ml stock)
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a pan, rinse off 300g of dried green lentils, then add 600ml cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape. You can drain any excess liquid.
  2. While the lentils are cooking, in a large saucepan melt a knob of butter (I use plant-based) a tablespoon of oil and soften four shallots or one large onion . You want them to go clear and ‘jammy’, as this will give depth to the flavour to your sauce. Approx 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Chuck in some earthy fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme and/or sage. I like to keep these herbs on the stalk and then remove them whole just before serving.
  4. Grate the carrot and finely dice the mushrooms and add to the onions and cook for a further six minutes.
  5. Add the garlic, smoked paprika and tomato puree to the pan, cooking for a further two minutes. Add the plum tomatoes, vegetable stock, stir well and leave to gently simmer for at least 20 minutes, (be sure to keep an eye and add more water if needed). The sauce should thicken and become ‘glossy’ in appearance.
  6. Add your drained lentils and stir well. Remove from the heat and season
    to taste.

Thanks to Anna Southwell of LOVES Café for the recipe. Follow LOVES Café on Instagram @loveswsm

This article is from the January 2023 issue of Outdoor Swimmer. Click here to subscribe to the magazine.

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Outdoor Swimmer is the magazine for outdoor swimmers by outdoor swimmers. We write about fabulous wild swimming locations, amazing swim challenges, swim training advice and swimming gear reviews.