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Lentil Chorizo Soup

Lentil Chorizo Soup

This lentil chorizo soup is hearty, affordable and really easy to make. It’s a delicious way to get nutritious lentils and vegetables into your dinner rotation.

The lentil soup served in a white bowl and displayed on a blue table with an aqua colored linen.

 

For this Spanish-inspired lentil soup we use chorizo, onions, carrots, celery, garlic and spices to pack it with flavor. The potatoes complement the chorizo and lentils beautifully.

 

Making lentils from scratch isn’t as intimidating as making other bean recipes. Lentils cook quickly and don’t require soaking. So, making this soup doesn’t require hours of your time and the prep work is pretty simple too.

 

Now, if you do have an afternoon to putter around the kitchen, try this Navy Bean Soup or these Cuban-Style Red Beans they won’t disappoint!

A close up image of navy bean soup served in a black bowl, with a red and white cloth napkin and spoon on the side.

 

A close-up of Cuban Red Beans served over white rice

 

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What type of lentils is best for this soup?

Lentils are small, lens shaped legumes that are packed with protein, fiber, iron and minerals. There are four general categories for lentils: brown, green, red/yellow and specialty. For this soup we recommend using brown or green lentils. They’re both popular varieties that can be found at just about any market. Plus, they hold their shape with longer cooking times.

 

Looking to add more lentils to your diet? Check out this article all about How to Cook Lentils including some great recipes to get you started.

Five different varieties and color of lentils in small piles on black table.

 

What is chorizo?

Chorizo is a type of sausage made of pork. It’s heavily seasoned with garlic and spices, most notably, smoked paprika (pimento), giving the chorizo it’s characteristic red color. When shopping for chorizo, keep in mind that there are two kinds: dried and fresh.

 

Difference between dried chorizo and fresh chorizo

Dried chorizo (also commonly referred to as Spanish chorizo) is a hard, smoked and cured pork sausage. As long as it’s in the packaging it does not require refrigeration. It comes ready to eat, just peel the casing off and it’s ready to go.

 

It’s served with bread and cheese, and also used to flavor chicken, soups, stews and rice dishes. Spanish chorizo is what we use to flavor this lentil soup. We also use it in this pollo en salsa (chicken in tomato sauce) and this Cuban White Bean Soup.

 

Fresh chorizo (also called Mexican chorizo) is also made of pork and spices, usually smoked paprika and/or chili peppers. But, unlike Spanish chorizo, it must be cooked before eating. It can be purchased in links (which are great for grilling) or bulk and must be kept refrigerated. Check out this Chorizo Cheese Dip recipe.

 

Where can I find Spanish chorizo

Spanish chorizo can be found in Latin markets, some large chain supermarkets, and they can be purchased online: Spanish Chorizo

Four Spanish Chorizo Links on parchment paper displayed on a wood cutting board

 

To make this lentil soup we’re going to use simple, affordable and easy to find ingredients.

You will need:

  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil – we used extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small Onion, finely diced – we used Spanish onions they have a slightly sweet, strong flavor and thin, brownish paper skin
  • 1 large Carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 Celery Rib, diced
  • 3 ounces Spanish Chorizo, casing removed and cut into rounds or ½ rounds
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • ½ teaspoon Salt, plus extra if needed for the finished soup
  • ½ teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 12-14 ounce package Brown or Green Lentils, sorted and rinsed
  • 6 cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 cups Water
  • 12-16 ounces Potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-1 inch cubes (about 2 medium potatoes) – we used russet potatoes it’s what we had on hand but red potatoes will work well too

 

Prep Work

  • We’ll start by sorting the lentils. Don’t skip this step! I frequently find small rocks in lentils. Place them in a large colander, bowl or on a clean, flat surface. Pick through them carefully and remove any foreign objects, such as tiny rocks, twigs, misshaped beans, etc. Rinse the lentils with cold water and drain.
  • Remove the casing from the chorizo. It is usually a thin paper casing and peels right off. Cut it into bite sized rounds or half rounds.
  • Next, dice the onions, carrots and celery. They’re going in the pot at the same time, so keep them in the same bowl. I like using glass nesting bowls to organize my ingredients. They make prep work a snap!
  • Peel and cut the potatoes into ½ to 1 inch pieces. Since we’re not using the potatoes right away, keep them covered with cold water. Remember to drain them before adding in later.
  • Next, mince the garlic, measure out the tomato paste, chicken broth, and water.
  • Prepare a seasoning mix. Add the salt, dried oregano, cumin and black pepper to a small bowl. Stir to combine.

 

Alright, that’s it for the prep work, let’s cook!

 

Create a flavor base for the soup

The secret to making delicious soup is to start with a flavor base. Different recipes will use different ingredients, but the concept remains the same, cooking vegetables and spices and sometimes meat (like chorizo, bacon, sausage, etc.) gently in oil/fat until they start to soften. Then you build the soup from there.

 

Examples of flavor bases include sofrito – really common in Cuban recipes and mirepoix – a combination of onions, carrots and celery that’s French in origin. That’s what we’re starting with here.

 

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the onions, carrots and celery. Cook the vegetables for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

 

Next, add the chorizo, garlic, tomato paste, salt, oregano, cumin and black pepper, cook 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.

 

Cook the lentil soup

Let’s start the lentils now that we have a nice flavor base going.

 

Add the lentils, chicken broth and the water to the pot. Raise the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. This will take about 5 minutes.

 

Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and cook the lentils for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Keep the liquid at a gentle boil. We need heat to make sure the lentils will soften, but if the liquid is boiling too vigorously it will cook away quickly. Raise or lower the heat as needed.

 

Now, taste a few lentils to gauge the remaining cooking time. At this point they should be al dente. They should have just a little bite in the middle. If they’re still hard, then cook for an additional 5-10 minutes and check again. As a reference, we cooked our lentils for 27 minutes before adding the potatoes.

 

The cooking time for lentils is an estimate. Actual cooking time will depend on how soft you like them and the freshness of the beans. The fresher the lentils the quicker they will cook.

 

Lastly, add the potatoes to the pot. Make sure to drain before adding them in if you were keeping them in water.

 

Raise the heat to medium to get the liquid back to a boil. Cook the soup for 15 minutes, or until the lentils and the potatoes are tender. Lower the heat a bit if the liquid is boiling too vigorously (we lowered ours to medium-low after 5 minutes).

 

Taste the lentils and add salt if needed. As a reference we did not add extra to our lentil soup. Serve and enjoy!

A close up image of lentil chorizo soup served in a white bowl.

 

How to store lentil soup

This recipe makes a nice big pot of soup, making it perfect for cooking on the weekend and having lunches and quick dinners ready throughout the week. Lentil soup will keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days when stored in an air-tight container. You can also freeze it for about 3 months.

 

The lentil soup served in a white bowl and displayed on a blue table with an aqua colored linen.
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Lentil Chorizo Soup

This lentil chorizo soup is hearty, affordable and really easy to make. It’s a delicious way to get nutritious lentils and vegetables into your dinner rotation.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: chorizo, lentil recipes, lentils
Servings: 6
Calories: 383kcal
Author: Elizabeth

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 small Onion finely diced
  • 1 large Carrot peeled and diced
  • 1 Celery Rib diced
  • 3 ounces Spanish Chorizo casing removed and cut into rounds or half rounds
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • ½ teaspoon Salt plus extra if needed for the finished soup
  • ½ teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 12-14 ounce package Brown or Green Lentils sorted and rinsed
  • 6 cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 cups Water
  • 12-16 ounces Potatoes peeled and cut into ½-1 inch cubes (about 2 medium potatoes)

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the onions, carrots and celery. Cook the vegetables for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the chorizo, garlic, tomato paste, salt, oregano, cumin and black pepper. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the lentils, chicken broth and the water to the pot. Raise the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil.
  • Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and cook the lentils for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep the liquid at a gentle boil. It’s boiling too vigorously lower the heat a bit.
  • Taste a few lentils to gauge the remaining cooking time. If the lentils are still hard, cook an additional 5-10 minutes and check again. As a reference, we cooked out lentils for 27 minutes before adding the potatoes.
  • Add the potatoes to the pot. Remember to drain before adding them in if you were keeping them in water.
  • Raise the heat to medium to get the liquid back to a boil. Cook the soup for 15 minutes, or until the lentils and the potatoes are tender. Lower the heat a bit if the liquid is boiling too vigorously.
  • Taste the lentils and add salt if needed. As a reference we did not add extra to our lentil soup.

Notes

The cooking time for lentils is an estimate. Actual cooking time will depend on how soft you like them and the freshness of the beans. The fresher the lentils the quicker they will cook.

Nutrition

Calories: 383kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 1271mg | Potassium: 1248mg | Fiber: 23g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1845IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 7mg
The nutritional information above is computer generated and is only an estimate. There is no guarantee that it is accurate.This data is provided as a courtesy for informational purposes only.


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