Rinse lentils. Cover with water and let soak for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, coarsely chop onion, carrots, rutabaga and cabbage. Finely slice the garlic.
Heat a very large pot with 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Sauté the onion over medium heat for a few minutes. Then add the chopped vegetables and cook over medium-high heat, stirring until they turn golden.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Next add canned tomatoes, the drained lentils and 1/2 cup water. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour or until lentils are cooked. Check frequently to see whether additional water is required.
Season with oregano, soy sauce, chili powder, parsley and plenty of fresh ground pepper. Transfer everything into an oven-proof casserole dish.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Peel and cut up the potatoes. Cook in plenty of boiling water until soft. Drain and mash with butter, milk, English mustard and salt and pepper to taste.
Top the lentil casserole with the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese over top of the dish. Bake the shepherd’s pie until it’s puffed, brown and bubbly, about 30-45 minutes.
Adapted from The Perennial Political Palate by the Bloodroot Collective
This English dish, traditionally made with ground lamb, has been turned into a delicious vegetarian dish by my good friend chef Rachel Portnoy. This recipe serves 6, but I always double it to ensure leftovers. It freezes well too.