Hearty Spanish-Style Lentil and Chorizo Soup

Adapted from America's Test Kitchen

Serves 8

The original recipe called just for carrots and onion, but we really liked adding the tomatoes and peppers. It is also good with diced roasted sweet potato added at the end with the chorizo.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (2 1/4 cups) lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds Spanish-style chorizo sausage, removed from casings
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 large tomato, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 7 cups water, plus extra as needed
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar, plus extra for seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (we use 3-4 whole cloves, but pick them out at the end)
  • 2 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1. Place lentils and 2 teaspoons salt in heatproof container. Cover with 4 cups boiling water and let soak for 30 minutes. Drain well.

2. Cook the chorizo in a Dutch oven, breaking up the sausage with your spatula as it browns. One cooked, removed with a slotted spoon to a bowl lines with a paper towel. Meanwhile, finely chop three-quarters of onion (you should have about 1 cup) and grate remaining quarter (you should have about 3 tablespoons). Heat remaining fat for the chorizo and low and add chopped onion, carrots, tomato, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very soft but not brown, 25 to 30 minutes. If vegetables begin to brown, add 1 tablespoon water to pot.

3. Add lentils and sherry vinegar to vegetables; increase heat to medium-high; and cook, stirring frequently, until vinegar starts to evaporate, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 7 cups water, bay leaves, and cloves; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low; cover; and cook until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.

4. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in small saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add paprika, grated onion, garlic, bell pepper, and ½ teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute longer. Stir paprika mixture and chorizo into lentils and continue to cook until flavors have blended and soup has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt, pepper, and up to 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar to taste, and serve. (Soup can be made up to 3 days in advance.)

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