One of the dishes that transports me back to my childhood is lentils. They were a regular feature growing up because they were cheap and a small amount made a mountain of food. We used to have two versions of this dish, a Swiss-style version with smoked pork belly and bratwurst sausage or occasionally a version that included chorizo. Whilst I love both equally, over the years I have found it easier to source the Spanish ingredients so this is the recipe that has been my go to (sorry Mum!) Back in the day, my mother used to soak the lentils but most lentils nowadays don’t need it, and with this recipe there’s no need for it. Serves 6.
Cooking: 1hr 15mins
- 170g fresh/ cooking chorizo, diced
- 130g unsmoked pancetta/ lardons, diced
- 2 brown onions, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 500g baby potatoes, quartered
- 500g packets of green lentils/ french style lentils
- 2x 400g tin of peeled plum tomatoes
- 3 tbsp smoked paprika
- 3 large bay leaves
- 1 tbsp salt
- 70g tomato puree
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 red or green pepper/ capsicum, diced
- Place a crock pot/ dutch oven/ large lidded saucepan onto the hob. Add the chorizo to the cold pot and turn the heat to medium high. Do not add any oil to the pan, as the chorizo will release oil whilst cooking. Fry for 3 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Put the pancetta/ lardons into the pot, fry for a further 4 minutes. Continue to stir regularly.
- Next to be added is the onions and fry them till until softened and translucent (approximately 8 minutes).
- Add the minced garlic and fry for a further minute.
- The lentils are added next and stir them well to combine with the other ingredients.
- Finally, add the diced potatoes, tinned tomatoes, spices, salt, tomato puree and stock. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to low and put the lid on.
- Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring regularly (every 15 minutes or so) to ensure that it doesn’t catch, then remove the lid and add the diced pepper. Replace the lid and cook for a further 15 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Use chorizo that’s labeled as fresh or uncooked, instead of dried chorizo.
- Different delicatessens, grocers and supermarkets stock different sized chorizo. You can add more or less than the stated 170g, depending on what you have to hand.
- The chorizo and pancetta can be excluded if you prefer a vegetarian version.