Monday, March 30, 2015

Hearty Lentil Soup with Chorizo and Potatoes

Hearty Lentil Soup with Chorizo and Potatoes

More like a chili than soup, this is a hearty, satisfying dish. Good for a chilly day.  We are still waiting for Spring to spring around here.

I added chorizo sausage and small potatoes to make it a Sunday dinner. And served it with cornbread.

What makes this lentil soup extra special is the sofrito of almost-carmelized onions, carrots and garlic and tomatoes.  And the addition of the sherry in cooking and the vinegar at the end.
Hearty Lentil Soup with Chorizo and Potatoes
(adapted from Claudia Roden's The Food of Spain)

Serves 6 to 8

Note:  I only recommend making this soup with the French green lentils which are firmer and earthier than yellow or brown lentils which would become mushy.  

2 1/2 cups green lentils (French), picked over and rinsed
6 cups of water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 to 4 ounces prosciutto, chopped
1 large beefsteak tomato or 2 smaller tomatoes, chopped
1 t. sweet paprika
4 cups chicken broth or stock
1/2 cup dry sherry
3 bay leaves
salt -- a big pinch, and then taste, as needed
12 ounces precooked chorizo sausage, sliced lengthwise, then crosswise, into crescents
12 - 16 ounces firm small white or yellow potatoes, cooked, cooled, quartered
2 T. white wine or champagne vinegar
Fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped (optional)

Microwave the potatoes or boil until cooked, but on the firm side.  Drain, salt lightly, and cool, set aside.  Once cool, quarter them, to add to the soup at the very end.

Pick over the lentils, rinse them and place then in a large casserole or pot, add 6 cups of water.
Bring to a boil, skim off the foam, and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncovered. Don't boil the lentils, cook them gently on low.  Turn off until you have completed the next steps.  Keep the liquid, don't drain the lentils.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the onions and carrots in the olive oil on medium low to low, until they are soft and yellow.  This takes a while, plan 15 - 20 minutes.

Add the garlic and prosciutto, and stir well, add the tomatoes, paprika, and cook until the tomatoes soften.
Pour this into the pan with the lentils. add the stock, sherry, bay leaves, salt, and pepper.
Cook, covered, 20 to 30 minutes, until the lentils and vegetables are soft, adding water if needed.  Watch that it doesn't boil.  Cook gently on low heat.
Add the chorizo and cook for another minute or two.  Then add, the potatoes and stir them in.  And cook until they are warmed through, another minute or two.

Turn off the heat, then add 2 T. of white wine or champagne vinegar --and fresh parsley, if desired.
Ladle into bowls.
Serve with cornbread -- a big spoon.


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