This Lentil Shepherd's Pie is hearty and comforting. With the rich flavors of the lentils and the creaminess of the mashed potatoes, this veggie-filled dish is perfect for a Sunday family dinner or a cozy holiday meal.
Rinse and sift through the lentils to make sure there are no stones or other impurities. If you're using dried lentils don't skip this step! Set aside for later.
Peel and cube the potatoes. Place them in a medium pot with cold water and set aside for later.
Prep the vegetables. Peel and dice the onion. Peel and chop the carrots into quarter moons. Clean and chop the mushrooms.
Cook the Lentil Mixture
Start by adding the onions and carrots to a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
Add the chopped mushrooms and herbs. Cook down another 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and minced or grated garlic. Cook for about 1 minute (be careful because the garlic can burn easily).
Next, add the broth and lentils. Stir to combine. Bring the pot of water to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked (maybe just a tad al dente).
While the lentil mixture is simmering, make the masked potatoes. Bring the medium pot of potatoes to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
Drain and rinse the potatoes. Return to the pot and add the soy milk, nutritional yeast, and broth powder. Mash with a potato masher or hand mixer. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C.
When the lentils are done cooking and the liquid is almost completely reduced, add the frozen peas and cornstarch to the lentil mixture. Stir to combine and thicken. Salt and pepper to taste.
Add the lentil mixture to your baking dish. Spread in an even layer. Then dollop the mashed potatoes over the top. Spread to the edges of the dish in a even layer. Use a fork to make waves or lines (the ridges get crispier in the oven.)
Cook for 15 minutes. Turn on the broiler and cook another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the mashed potatoes are crispy and browned on top.