Cooking Around the World

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Cooking Around the World




Spanish lentil and chorizo soup





I’m not a particularly experimental or inventive cook, so I
generally need a “crutch” when it comes to thinking up new things for
dinner.

The
simplest way of finding new meals is to look for recipes in cookbooks
or online, of course. Another fun method is trying to replicate tasty
dishes I’ve had in restaurants. And a third way is to play the
variations on a theme game. This involves taking a recipe that I
already like and tweaking it by “transposing” its components and,
essentially, moving the whole thing to a different country (the
variations on a tomato salad with herbs and cheese described in this post are a good example of this).

This lentil soup recipe is actually the product of all three
methods. While browsing through food blogs one day, I chanced upon this
recipe for lentil, chestnut and pancetta soup. If ever two words could make my heart sing, it would be “lentils” and “pancetta”, so I quickly set about making the soup, and it was very good indeed.

Then
one evening, as I sat pondering what to do with a bit of leftover
chorizo I had in the fridge, I remembered a smoky lentil casserole I’d
had at Bodega D’Tapa, a little (very little) gem of a tapas bar in Brighton.
The idea of lentils and cured meat got me to thinking about the lentil
and pancetta soup, which I decided I’d move from Italy to Spain by
substituting chorizo for the pancetta, replacing the sage and thyme
with pimentón (smoked Spanish paprika), and adding some onions and garlic for extra richness.

To my delight, the Spanish version of the soup turned out great. The
combination of earthy lentils, smoky paprika, spicy chorizo and sweet
chestnuts is a real winner, and it’s quick and easy to make to boot.

The following recipe will really serve four, though I make the same
amount for two because the leftovers are yummy for lunch. Though the
ingredients have been tweaked, this recipe hews very closely to the
original one, so most of the credit for it should go to Meg of Though small, it is tasty (who, incidentally, used to be a resident of Brighton! Small world…)


  • 150 g lentils
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 75 g Spanish chorizo, sliced
  • 1/2 onion (preferably red), chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 200 g roasted and peeled chestnuts, chopped a bit
  • 150 mL red wine
  • 250 g canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • red chili flakes and salt to taste


Cook the lentils and bay leaves in a pot of boiling water for about
25 minutes, until the lentils are tender but still firm. Drain the
lentils, saving the cooking water.

In
the meantime, heat a splash of olive oil in a pot over medium-low heat
and sauté the chorizo for a minute. Remove the chorizo and set it
aside, then sauté the onion in the oil for about 10 minutes, until it’s
soft. Add the garlic and sauté a minute or two, then add the chestnuts
and cook them for a few minutes too.

Pour in the wine and simmer until most of the liquid has cooked off,
then add the tomatoes, tomato paste, paprika, chili flakes if you’re
using them, and salt to taste.

Simmer all of this until the mixture has thickened, roughly 15
minutes. Then stir in the lentils and as much lentil cooking water as
you want (I make this like a thick lentil stew, but you can add more
liquid if you want something more soup-like). Cook this together for
another 10 minutes or so, adding the chorizo towards the end to heat it
through. Season again if you need to, then serve it up!



I like to use small, firm lentils such as Puy lentils for this, but
I’m sure regular brown lentils would work just as well (or for extra
authenticity, use Spanish Pardina lentils if you can find them). The
chestnuts add a nice texture and sweetness, but I’ve made the soup
without them and it’s still very good (and by the way, I don’t roast my
own chestnuts—I just buy them already roasted and peeled).

For a vegetarian version of the soup, just leave out the chorizo. The pimentón
will still give you a deep smokiness, and you could substitute some
roasted red peppers to boost the flavor even more. Then you need
nothing more than a spicy Spanish red and maybe a crisp salad to have a
dinner that’s just delicioso.

Update: For an extremely fast variation on this soup, you can use tinned black beans instead of lentils.

Follow the steps for cooking the chorizo, onion and garlic mentioned
above (you can sauté carrots and/or celery along with the onion if you
have them), stir in the smoked paprika, add some tomato paste/puree or
some tinned tomatoes if you like, then chuck in two tins of black beans
(with their juices) and enough water or vegetable stock for the soup to
reach the consistency you want. Simmer it for as long as you like, put
the chorizo back in, season it to taste, and enjoy!
Source in english: Internet
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Cooking Around the World :: Comments

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Post on Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:05 am by rogue

Yes.Just what I need.Very good job.
Lentejas i made last week was very good.Good to find new kind of soup.The soups I made before was easy and I didnt liked them much.It was chicken broth,as base,and vegetables.This,western,cooking for me always was better.

This weekend,going to cook gaspacho.Also find how to cook in Internet.)This is summer soup,but I dont know how to eat cold soup.)I try it warm.)

Last edited by RavenClaw on Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:26 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post on Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:05 am by Argentino

Jajaja outcast cheefff ! xD

Dps pruebo de hacerla xD

Aunque es sopa tipica de aca xD, seria mas bien guiso xD

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Post on Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:20 am by MasterSynato

haha looks very tasty

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Post on Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:48 pm by Herny-JK

dios Out me diste hambre ^^

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