Every country, every region and perhaps also every neighborhood and every household has their own versions of lentil soups, but this one, called «LENTEJAS CON CHORIZO» is my favorite. An intense, spicy, smoky, herby and hearty version with sliced chorizo and extra paprika. It’s a full meal for these colder months, accompanied with some crusty bread and nothing else.
Pulses are (or at least should be) a staple everywhere and part of your weekly meal planning, just like cereals and grains, but they do require some planning. Some need rinsing and soaking when dried, unless you use canned versions, and if you do, keep that slimy liquid for cooking because it adds thickness and flavor.
I grew up with a vegetarian Greek-style lentil soup, always served with a drizzle of vinegar which was traditional and which cut through the heaviness of the dish but I find that Spanish and French versions of lentil soups to be more fulfilling meals, even though heavier, because of the addition of sausages.
Anyways, all lentil soups and stews are delicious, with our without meat.
The main ingredients of this Spanish-style lentil stew are easy to remember : 1 part onions, 2 parts chorizo sausage (not fresh and soft but drier and firmer sausage) , 4 parts potatoes, 4 parts lentils, all bathed in a broth flavored with garlic, paprika and fresh and dried herbs, but feel free to add some carrots which doesn’t really add much flavor but it’s a nice addition, if you have them hanging around.
*little note : if you don't eat pork, I've bought chorizo made with poultry and it was pretty good too ...
Usually everything is assembled in the cooking pot and simmered for 1 hour but you can also partially roast the sliced onions and potatoes for a more roasted flavor and add them to the rest and simmer everything together but for less longer. Either way works great.
It’s going to be cold in my part of the world this weekend and maybe in yours too, so bundle up and have some hearty soup ! … :)