When I hear the words lentil soup, I associate two things:
2) Nursing home food.
Hippies because, well, hippies eat a lot of lentils. And wear patchouli oil.
Nursing home food because that’s the slop I picture them serving up at the 4:30 dinner in the dining hall.
But after a few lentil revelations at French restaurants where they were done right and, quite frankly, pretty fracking delicious, I decided to give them a go at home. But no ordinary lentil stew for this gal. No way. I spiced mine up with chorizo sausage and ended up with another lentil revelation on my hands.
What to try it? Here goes…
You’ll need garlic, half an onion, one bunch of Kale (I used Italian which has smaller leaves, so if you’re using the normal kind use a half-bunch), two cooked chorizo sausages (or cooked ground chorizo—whatever your grocer carries), and four red potatoes.
Here’s the star of the show: green lentils. You can find them on the pasta aisle. One pound, please. Give ’em a rinse.
Give your potatoes, onions and garlic a good chopping.
A 1/4″-1/2″ dice works well for the onions and potatoes, and mince the garlic.
For me, “mincing” garlic means “chop until you run out of patience.” It’s generally somewhere between a chop and a mince. And then I get mad and run my sticky, sticky garlic hands under the faucet.
Next, melt some butter over medium-high heat in whatever large pan you’d like to cook this lovely stew in. Toss in the garlic, potatoes and onions, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until onions are soft and begin to become translucent.
Chop up that beautiful sausage, baby. This freshly made stuff I scored from my dealer. It’s not super-duper spicy—definitely on the milder side as far as chorizo goes. But it really worked well with this stew because it didn’t overpower the other flavors.
Add your lentils and chorizo to the potato/onion/garlic mixture and pour in 8 cups of chicken stock.
Add a little salt and black pepper to taste and toss in one bay leaf. Then bring to a boil, cover, and turn down the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop up those gorgeous greens. One inch pieces work nicely.
When the half hour is up, throw in your chopped kale.
Give the broth a little taste and adjust the seasonings according to your liking. Then bring back to a boil, cover, and simmer an additional 15 minutes.
E voila! A gorgeous, hearty, savory and spicy stew.
This will knock the socks off your granny. Or your hippie.
The heartiness of the lentils and potatoes balanced nicely with the smoky spice of the sausage.
The kale was a nice addition—it not only added some rich color, but it lent a fabulous fresh flavor as well. I would also adore this stew with sweet potatoes or yams instead of the red potatoes. It would give it a touch of sweetness that would work nicely with the other ingredients.
I’m starting a lentil fan club. Specifically, a “Lentil Stew with Chorizo and Kale” fan club. Look for it on Facebook.
But the biggest fan of this stew by far was Husband, who kept a bowl of it on the kitchen counter all day long and snuck bites every time he walked by.
Try this soon. It’s a lovely, easy, fresh meal!
Lentil Stew with Chorizo and Kale
- 1 pound green lentils, rinsed
- 3/4 lb chorizo sausage, cooked and diced
- 2 red potatoes, cut into a 1/4″ dice
- 1/2 yellow onion, cut into a 1/4″ dice
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bunch Italian kale or 1/2 bunch regular kale, cut into 1″ pieces
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
Melt butter over medium-high heat and add garlic, potatoes and onion. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and starting to become translucent. Add chorizo, lentils, chicken stock, bay leaf and salt and pepper. Stir, bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add kale, stir, cover and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Serve with crusty bread. Serves 8.