My take on a Spanish Lentil Soup is a fantastic winter warmer. It is also clean, nutritious and filling – literally a meal in itself. It’s just what I need after the Christmas and New Year excesses.
I first had this soup whilst I was living in Spain in my gap year between Sixth Form College and Uni. The host family I stayed with would regularly make a big pot of it and I always went back for seconds! As a grown-up I have since tried to replicate sopa de lentejas and this recipe now comes pretty close.
Like many soups, the flavour improves if you leave it to stand for a couple of hours before serving, and it will taste even better the next day.
The recipe below includes potatoes, but I have left them out this time. If you are vegetarian or currently flexing your flexitarianism; this soup works just as well without the Chorizo (an extra clove of garlic and 2 tsp of paprika will provide extra flavour).
Serves 4 (with leftovers!)
2-3 stalks celery (sliced)
3 large carrots (cubed)
1 red onion (chopped)
3 potatoes (optional)
2 cups green lentils
3 bay leaves
1 glass red wine (optional)
Chorizo (I use a 200g ring)
1 Tbsp Italian herbs
2 cloves garlic
1 stock cube (either pork or veg)
2-3 handfuls spinach
3 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
7-9 cups water
1) Slice the chorizo ring and cook for a couple of minutes in a large saucepan, over a medium heat until the oils are released 2) Spoon out the chorizo and set aside, leaving the oil in the pan
3) Cook the celery, carrots and onion in the chorizo oil until softened
4) Add the garlic, herbs, lentils & bay leaves
5) Add the red wine (if using) and cook for a few minutes before adding 7 cups water
6) Crumble in the stock cube and cook over a medium heat for 45mins
7) Keep checking on the soup and add another 1-2 cups water during the cooking time
8) Chop the potatoes into cubes (if using) and add to the soup and cook for another 15mins
9) Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach until wilted, then add the Balsamic vinegar and the previously cooked Chorizo and salt & pepper to taste
10) Leave to stand for a couple of hours before gently re-heating to serve
If you do have a go at making this soup, I’d love to know your verdict! Please leave me a comment below.