Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lentil Stew

         Lentils stewed with chorizo - Lentejas Estofadas      
As we have rainy weather today I began thinking about warm stews and soups.

And since I haven't posted a recipe here for a long time, for a change today I'll show you a couple of dishes I make quite frequently:

One of my favourite Spanish comfort foods is stewed lentils.

Here in Canarias lentils (lentejas) and chickpeas (garbanzos) are frequently seen stewed with chorizo, potatoes and vegetables.

  These are delicious starters or full meals which can be found in local family-style restaurants where Canary cooking is served.  Often the wife is in the kitchen and the husband and children are serving the tables.  They are usuallythe best places for trying the local cuisine before making them in your own kitchen.

Here's a good recipe that I've used for making a wholesome lentil stew:

First the ingredients:

Ingredients for making a lentil stew

 Lentil Stew - Lentejas Estofadas

350 grams (1 1/2 cups) of small dark lentils - put them to soak the night before in water to cover
*Note: nowadays many  lentils are sold as quick cooking and don’t need soaking.
100 grams (3.5 oz) red stewing chorizo sausage - lightly pricked over with tines of a fork
50 grams (1.7 oz)  salted tocino pork fat - cut into large diced pieces
1 TBSP flour
2 carrots finely diced
2 medium leeks, using only white stems sliced finely in rounds
1 or 2 lg cloves garlic (optional but I wouldn't leave it out) - pass through garlic press
2 cups beef broth (or 2 Knorr beef cubes)
1 bay leaf
fresh rosemary - small sprig
olive oil - about 1/4 cup
extra water to add after 1st hour

1. Soak lentils the night before in water to cover.
*Note: some lentils are sold as quick cooking and don’t need soaking.

2. Next day drain and rinse lentils, put aside.

3. Heat olive oil in heavy cooking pot.  When sizzling, add carrots, garlic and leeks. 
Lightly brown while stirring.

4.  Add 1 TBSP flour and keep stirring for about a minute.

5.  Add lentils, beef broth,  whole chorizo, tocino, laurel and rosemary

6.  Put on lid and simmer very gently for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. 
Check after 1st hour and add more water if needed.

7.  Adjust seasoning and serve.

And if you're like me and sometimes prefer it as a puré, then remove the pieces of chorizo and put the stew through a blender or hand cranked puré mill and serve it with homemade toasted garlic croutons and a few snips of flat Italian parsley.

A red Canary wine and some crusty bread make this a wholesome dish!

Lentil puré

In another world away from Canary Islands  - and back to my part of west coast Canada:

If you are interested in artifacts and stories from the Pacific northwest, may I brag a little about my daughter Michelle's blog "Relics and Tales", where she has recorded some fine stories as recounted to her by her father-in-law, a man who has travelled the world on motorbike, collecting antiques and unusual items along the way. Together with Michelle's fine photography, I think they make an interesting pair, presenting some little known anecdotes from past and present.

Thanks for dropping by, and ¡hasta la vista!


Ashleigh said...

Yum! Can I come over for dinner! The stew looks great and I want some of those delicious looking croutons!

Gary said...

Hi Sharon,
What can I say but....Delish!
I am trying to be a vegetarian, and it can be hard for a meat lover, and as my blog admits to, I did fall by the wayside whilst on holiday. I have to say that this post of yours has made me hungry, although I must now leave out that wonderfully rich and colourful ingredient Chorizo. Think I shall try the lentil stew without it though!

Marysol said...

Sharon, I've missed your food photos over at the CF, so it's a real treat to see them here!

And I'm ready for some of that Lentil Soup, as it's still pretty cold here.

However, temperatures will be in the 60s by Thursday, so hurry up and serve me a bowl, por favor.
Can you see me doing a happy dance?

Canarybird said...'re more than welcome! I'll save a dish for you.

Gary...the lentil stew is almost as good without chorizo. I admire you greatly for your decision to live without meat. We have also considered it. Not an easy change I'm sure but one which is is more consistent with being an animal lover. More difficult too when you've been brought up on a meat-based diet. Good for you!

Hola Sol...I'd love to see you here and dancing and would gladly save you a bowl of lentils. It's cold here too...we've had an extremely chilly snap with snow on the tops of several islands and temps between 40 to 50°F in higher places. Around our house it's been around 55F (12 to 13°C)brrrr. We need hot soup! Saludos.

Señorita said...

Oh, I miss lentil soup from Spain.. Yum! In April, I will be heading out to Tenerife!! Can not wait :)


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