About this recipe:A comforting, chunky vegetable stew is topped with a cheesy breadcrumb crust to evoke the flavours of traditional farmhouse cooking.
1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1cm dice
400g carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
300g trimmed leeks, halved lengthways and sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
500ml bottled chunky passata
300ml vegetable stock
½ tsp sugar
6 sprigs fresh thyme, tied together, or ½ tbsp dried
85g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
2 tbsp snipped fresh chives
50g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
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Method Prep:25min › Cook:20min › Ready in:45min
Put the butternut squash, carrots, leeks and garlic in a large pan or flameproof casserole. Pour over the passata and stock and add the sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring, then reduce the heat. Add the thyme and cook for 12–15 minutes until the vegetables are almost tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. Season to taste.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. For the gratin topping, melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the breadcrumbs and chives. Remove from the heat.
If you are not using a flameproof casserole, transfer the vegetables to an ovenproof dish. Spread the breadcrumb mixture over the vegetables and sprinkle over the cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until the gratin topping is crisp and golden.