2 cups green lentils
1 bay leaf
1 onion, cut in half
1 small potato, peeled and chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
1 cup baby spinach, packed
1 handful cilantro
1/2 cup mint
4 tablespoons vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
2 shallots, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup green peas, defrosted if frozen
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a medium size pot, add the lentils and enough water to cover. Add the bay leaf and onion halves and bring up to a boil, then cover and turn the heat down to medium-low. Simmer until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, when the lentils have been simmering for about 8-10 minutes, add the diced potatoes to the pot. While the lentils are cooking, add 1/2 cup vegetable stock or water, the baby spinach, cilantro and mint to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into a paste. Turn out into a large bowl and reserve.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add one turn of the pan of vegetable oil or EVOO. Add the shallots, carrot and bell pepper and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in green peas, season with salt and frehsly ground black pepper, and turn off the heat. Whisk the remaining 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or EVOO into the reserved spinach puree. Add the cooked shallots and veggies to the bowl along with the cooked lentils and potatoes. Give everything a good toss to coat and check the seasonings. Serve warm or chilled.