Lentils with chorizo: the Spanish stew you can eat all year round
Usually, I dedicate the first paragraph of my posts to say something about current affairs. The British weather has been quite recurrent, although more recently the Olympics have taken this place-at least for now. Today let me focus on something personal because I am about to experience the most exciting event of the last 20 months: I AM TRAVELLING TO SPAIN. Or better said: I AM FINALLY TRAVELLING TO SPAIN. The plan is to spend one week in Sevilla (with my in-laws) and another in Barcelona (with my parents and brother). It’s been a long wait due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with high and lows and not seeing an end date. Now it is set for 21st August. You have no idea how much I am looking forward to it-and so is my girlfriend.
From the foodie point of view, no doubts it’s going to be wonderful to be at home. Not only for the eating, but also for having the opportunity to cook alongside my closest relatives. Summer, as I have mentioned a few times, is the ideal time for paellas, fideuas and, believe or not, a lentils stew. You might be thinking now how can we eat one-pots during this time of the year, right? The answer is pretty simple: it is so nutritious that it’s just impossible to skip-even though it’s 30+ Celsius outside!
There is no secret the lentils stew is such a household staple. You just need very basic ingredients and less time than what normally requires a one-pot meal to be cooked. In Spain, we usually eat it with chorizo or another kind of meat which can vary from pork ribs, morcilla or chicken. Sometimes you even find all of them together! Alternatively, you can prepare a meatless option like the one I featured weeks ago.
Let me insist in the fact that there is not a standard recipe for the Spanish lentils stew. Every person, every household makes its own version and use more or less ingredients. For this reason, if you search it out on the Internet you may find plenty of them-and all right, for sure! This is the recipe I cook with what I can find nearby. It is tasty and comes together in 30-40 minutes. At home, it is one of our lunch-at-work favorites so we tend to cook more portions and freeze them in lunch boxes. I recommend you to do this as much as drizzle it with a few drops of vinegar.
INGREDIENTS (SERVES 4)
Lentils (300 gr)
Rice (100 gr)
Carrot (1 large)
Garlic cloves (3)
Potato (1 large)
Onion (1 large)
Red pepper (half)
Canned tomato (200 g)
Sweet paprika (1 teaspoon)
DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING
Make a little incision on each garlic clove, chop the carrot, the leek and dice the potato. Put all in a pot with the lentils and cover with water up to half inch over the limit. Add salt, pepper, olive oil and start boiling at low heat.
2. In the meantime, use a separate pan to cook thesofrito. Chop the onion and the pepper in quarters and fry them at medium heat. When tender, add the tomato, the sweet paprika and a pinch of salt and gently simmer for one minute.
3. Once the sofrito is cooked, transfer all the ingredients into a blender beaker and grind until you get an almost creamy, uniform texture. Drop it into the pot and integrate it by gently shaking the pot. Boil with the lid on for about 30 minutes. Taste regularly to check the lentils are softening.
4. Add the rice ten minutes minutes before turning the heat off. Add also more salt if needed. When the rice is ready, add the chorizo slices and cook them for shortly.
5. At this stage, your lentils should have achieved a slightly thick texture. Turn the heat off and let the stew sit for five minutes which will help the flavours to re-concentrate. Finally, serve in a bowl with a few dashes of vinegar if you wish.