This is "mince and tatties". I used to make this using "Bachelor's Beanfeast" in the UK, but in the US there is no such thing, so I thought I'd have a go at making my own, but while I was at it I decided to try to make it contain less garbage ingredients.
Finely chop the olives, mushrooms and onion. I used a hand-cranked food-processor slicing blade. If using a powered food processor, don't turn it to paste!
Splash a little olive oil on the bottom of a saucepan, and heat it up. Dump all the sliced stuff in and stir it around for a few minutes. (You may want to give the onion a couple of minutes headstart so it caramelizes a bit.)
Add about a cup and a half of hot water, and the stock cube. Stir it around. (I guess you could use a cup and a half of cartoned stock here instead to be even lazier)
Add the lentils and spices, stir it around again. Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. This isn't precise, I don't think you can overcook it at this stage unless you really try.
Mix the cornstarch with a small splash of cold water (just enough for it to become runny, it doesn't take much), then pour it in and quickly stir it.
Add the tinned potatoes. Simmer for another five to ten minutes so they're heated through but haven't gone squishy.
Serve in a bowl with optional salt and/or delicious hot sauce.
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