Arable farmer pie with spinach harrira

Reminiscent of a classic British Shepherd's Pie but packed with lots of lovely veg with a yummy white sweet potato top. This dish is healthy comfort food...a perfect winter warmer. This does take a little longer than most of my recipes. Although the whole dish takes an hour and a half to prepare from start to finish, you aren't needed for the whole time. Make the harrira, pop the potatoes into bake and you have 45-60 minutes before you're needed again. Because this recipe takes a bit longer I recommend you make it when you have a little more time. 

Makes enough for 4 people

3 bunches of large spinach or 3 packs of baby spinach

1 aubergine, chopped into bitesize pieces

1T + 2T olive or rapeseed oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 jar or can of chickpeas

10 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped

2t stock powder

Salt to taste

1t ground coriander

1/2t turmeric

1t ground cinnamon

1/2t ground ginger

2T passata

4 large white sweet potatoes (these are purple skinned and can be found in Indian food stores. You can substitute with orange sweet potatoes)

3T nutritional yeast

Preheat your oven to 200c. 

Put the spinach in a large frying pan or sauce pan. Add a splash of water, put on a high heat and put the lid on. Once the spinach has wilted (after just 3 minutes or so) remove from the heat. Drain the spinach and cool with cold water. Squeeze all of the water from the spinach and finely chop it. Set it aside.

Put the aubergine into a large bowl with 1T of the oil. Mix well and lay on a baking tray in one layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes until it is soft. This method is healthier than frying the aubergine. 

In a large saucepan fry the onion in the remaining 2T of the oil on a medium heat until it is translucent. If the oil disappears add splashes of water so the onion does not burn. Add the garlic, fry for a further 5 minutes then add the chickpeas, tomatoes, stock, salt, spices, passata and spinach. Simmer until the water from the tomatoes has disappeared, this should take approximately an hour. 

Cut the sweet potatoes in half, from tip to tip. Lay on a baking tray, bake until they are completely soft, test the very centre with a fork. Once they are cooked let them cool a little then scoop out the centre, mash this with a fork. Mix in the nutritional yeast.

Spoon the harrira into a dish that is suitable for the oven, you can use one big dish or 4 individual dishes like I have. Top with the mashed sweet potato, bake for for around 15 minutes until the top is browned.