Lentejas con Chorizo
Lentils, like many pulses, are a staple of Spanish families and this dish is probably the most common way of eating them. It can be prepared as a stew, or if you add more water and stock, it can be more of a soup.
Although this can be a one pot meal, frying the onion, garlic and paprika in a separate pan and then blending them is a great way to enhance the flavour of the dish. This is called a ‘sofrito’ in Spanish and is the basis of many Spanish dishes especially stews and pulse based dishes.
There is no need to soak the lentils overnight and in fact it is better not to as they may become too mushy.
The ham bone in the recipe is optional and is used only to add an extra flavour to the dish. If you can find one I would definitely recommend using it.
- 500g brown or green lentils
- 300g chorizo, cut into 1cm slices
- 3 or 4 large carrots (approximately 350g after peeling), diced,
- 3 or 4 medium potatoes (approximately 650g after peeling) , chopped in large chunks
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoon tomato frito or tomato paste
- Olive oil
- 1 or 2 teaspoon sweet paprika, I use 2 teaspoons
- 2 or 3 bay leaves
- 1 ham bone (optional)
Start by washing the lentils well.
Now put them in a large pan with the ham bone, the diced carrots, the potatoes, half of the chopped onion and enough cold water to cover all the contents and stir well. Once it starts boiling add the chorizo, bay leaves, about 1 teaspoon of salt and some black pepper and turn the heat down so that it is simmering gently and again stir well. It will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour to cook depending on the lentils. You should stir it occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and you may need to add more water during cooking.
Meanwhile, put about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan on a gentle heat and add the rest of the chopped onion and the garlic. Fry this on a gentle heat for about 15 minutes. Now add the sweet paprika and stir this well. After about 30 seconds add the tomato paste and about 100ml water to this mix, stir well and continue to cook for a couple of minutes more. Now put this mix in a blender and blend. Once blended add this to the lentils and stir gently.
After about 40 minutes taste the lentils to check if they are cooked or not and to see if more salt is required. Once the lentils are cooked, serve in a bowl with some crusty bread on the side.