Spanish Lentil Soup

lentejas

There are two ways of cooking this absolutely delicious but not very good looking dish. The vegetarian way, or the traditional way. The difference is the chorizo and the type of stock. I will describe here the non vegetarian version, but if you want to avoid meat, just avoid the chorizo and swap the beef stock for vegetable stock.

This is a high fiber, high protein, low GI, Spanish traditional dish that every grandmother takes pride in. It tastes like “home” and can make grown ups feel like children again. On top of that, belongs to the acclaimed Mediterranean diet, because it’s packed with low energy release lentils and due to high fiber content, is very filling.

Lentils are at their best the day after they have been prepared, since all the flavours have then had the chance to mix properly.   You can prepare a big pot and it will last for 4 days in the fridge, but if you have leftovers, you can freeze them.

This is an easy recipe, but it takes a little while to prepare since I don’t use the pressure cooker, but a normal pot, looking at them every 10 minutes to make sure they are going as they should… of course, you don’t need to do this, but this is one of those dishes to which the secret ingredient is… LOVE 😉

lentejas

Ingredients:

Brown lentils (around 50 gr per person)

1 tomato

1 leek

1 onion

3 cloves of garlic

1 carrot

1 l. beef stock (or more depending on the size)

Salt

1 piece of Chorizo per person (cured chorizo, one inch long pieces)

Sweet paprika powder

Olive oil

In a big pot, put the tomato, leek, carrot, onion and one clove of garlic, all peeled and clean but NOT CHOPPED. The vegetable in whole, wash the lentils in water and add them. Then add the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer for 30 minutes.

Check regularly that it has enough water and if you see that is getting dry add some more water, you don’t want a loose soup but more of a stew consistency, but this will be achieved at the very end so it needs to be somehow loose at this point.

Take out the vegetables (onion, leek, tomato and carrot since the garlic will have dissolved by now) and blend them with a hand blender until they are a puree. Add half of the puree back to the soup, and the rest, you can reserve in a plastic container and freeze to make another pot of lentils in the future.

Let the soup keep boiling and in a separate pan put 2 tbsp. of olive oil and fry the rest of the garlic (whole pieces) in it until golden brown. Then remove the garlic and add one or two teaspoons of paprika powder to the oil, then add the oil to the soup and expect some smoke. No worries, it’s all good. Mix well and try the lentils. If they are soft, and melt in your mouth, they are ready! You can then add the chorizo and cook very slowly for another couple of minutes. Let them sit there for a few minutes before eating, or wait until cool and enjoy the next day.

Enjoy!!

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