Sopa de Lentejas (Spanish Lentil soup)

Sopa de lentejas

Sopa de lentejas (len-tey-has) is a classic Spanish first course. It’s healthy, creamy and delicious. Sure, it’s a meal by itself, with a sandwich or some chips. Today we had it with some oven-baked focaccia chips. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup brown lentils, soaked for a couple of hours.

Mirepoix (finely chopped carrots, onions and celery) – 3/4 cup

2 small potatoes – peeled and cubed

Garlic – 4 cloves

Vegetable or Chicken stock – 1 litre

Pimiento picante (spicy spanish chili powder) – 1/2 teaspoon (replace it with paprika)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil

Roasted cumin powder – 1 teaspoon

Spanish Lentil Soup - brown lentils

Method:

Heat up the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan (or a pressure cooker).

Saute mirepoix and garlic till translucent, for about 5 minutes.

Add the potatoes and cook for a couple of minutes more.

Add the soaked lentils, stock, salt, pepper and chili powder.

Cover and cook for 20 minutes (or pressure cook for 10 minutes), till the lentils are cooked but not mushy.

Sprinkle cumin powder on top and mix well. If the soup is too thin, cook it for 5 more minutes, without the cover.

Take off heat and serve.

Spanish lentil soup, served with oven baked focaccia chips.

Tips:

1. You can blend it if you want a creamy soup, but it is typically served as is.

2. If you want it to be totally spanish, add a few pieces of chorizo or jamon at the end.

3. Experiment, replace half of the stock with red wine or add a bit of tomato paste.

3. Serve it with a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt. I always go with greek yogurt.

4. I had left over focaccia dough from yesterday, just a bit, so I flattened it out on a sheet pan, really really thin, sprinkled it with sea salt, baked it on 215C (425F) oven for about 15 minutes, till it was golden brown and crispy. Let it cool a bit, and then break it into pieces to serve with the soup.

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