The lentil part of this recipe is a mash-up between Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Puy lentil and spinach soup and Angela Hartnett’s Poached cod and lentils, with a few amendments of my own, depending on what is in the ‘fridge. The fish part of the recipe entirely belongs to Angela Hartnett, though I have to admit that I’m sometimes too mean to sacrifice 300ml wine to the poaching stock.


For the lentils

  • knob of butter and a splash of olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 leek
  • 150g le puy lentils
  • a splash of white wine
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 3-4 spring onions
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley
  • handful of baby spinach

For the cod

  • 2 cod (or haddock, or similar) fillets
  • 300ml boiling water
  • 300ml white wine
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/4tsp fennel seeds
  • 5 coriander seeds
  • sprinkle of thyme
  • a few basil leaves
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Gently fry the onion and garlic with the butter and olive oil, until the onion is soft and golden. Add the leeks and celery.

Add the lentils. Pour in the stock a spoonful at a time (Angela Hartnett says it is as if you were making risotto).

When the lentils are nearly done (about twenty minutes), it is time to turn our attention to the fish.

In a separate pan, put all the poaching liquids and herbs and spices and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat, add the fish to the pan, put on the lid and leave to cook for about five minutes.

Add the spring onions, parsley and spinach to the lentils and mix together. Angela Hartnett adds another knob of butter at this stage, but I’m trying to be a bit healthy.

Add the poached cod to the lentils and warm through.

This is a really lovely meal, I just serve with salad.