Yesterday my baby girl was home sick with a tummy bug, which incidentally I caught, so I decided to make her a clear broth. I had some chicken and ham bones in the fridge, plus loads of veggies, and I always have some herbs and spices on hand, so it was easy-going. Today she is feeling much better, and I put that delicious stock to good use. Lentils- I love lentils, having grown up eating it almost every week. In Colombia our grains are usually accompanied with white rice, but here in Spain, lentils are eaten as a dish on its own. That is what I was going for today, swapping my usual “latino” herbs and spices for some more “mediterranean” ones. Oh, and let’s not forget the chorizo……no lentil dish worth its name would be without it here, since pork is king!
I love the chorizo in the lentils, it gives it a warmth and depth that really isn’t achieved with in our Colombian counterpart; at least in my home our lentils were more of the vegetarian variety. Also, I added some smoked sweet “pimenton” to give it that extra smoky kick! Adding the chorizo and pimenton makes this more of a one plate meal, no accompaniment needed, and as the weather cools down, it definitely warms your belly too!
So here’s what you’re going to need”
4 cups dark stock (recipe below)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 carrot, chopped
1/4 cup chorizo, cubed
1 tsp smoked sweet pimenton or paprika
1 cup Pardina lentils, or Lentilles du Puy (french lentils)
2 bay leaves
1 sprig of thyme
Salt and Pepper, to taste
In a medium sauté pan, add the olive oil and warm it up over medium low heat. Add the onion and green pepper, and sauté until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the carrot, chorizo and pimenton, stirring and cook for another 2 minutes.
In the meantime, in a dutch oven or medium stockpot, bring your stock to a boil. When boiling, add the vegetables, lentils, bay leaves and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, and cook over high heat for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to medium low, and simmer for another 35 minutes or until the lentils are fully cooked and it has slightly thickened. Serve with fresh crusty bread and enjoy!
For the Stock:
This is a go to stock recipe that can be used as a broth, or base for other food preparations. This makes about 6 cups, and feel free to swap some of the vegetables and herbs for what you have on hand. The most important part is the cooking time so it really develops some flavor.
Makes about 6 cups of stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 leek, sliced
3 shallots, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery sticks plus some leaves, sliced
1 large tomato, diced
1 cup cabbage, diced
1 tbsp tomato paste
Chicken bones and neck
3 ham bones
8 cups water
2 sprigs of sage, roughly chopped
2 sprigs of thyme
3 bay leaves
1 tsp black peppercorns
Salt, to taste
In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the leek, shallots, carrot, celery, tomato and cabbage, cook for about 15 minutes, until softened. Raise heat to high, add the tomato paste and your bones, stirring constantly to incorporate the paste. Add the water and the rest of the ingredients. Boil for about 10 minutes, and then lower heat to medium high, and cook for another 40 minutes. Turn off heat, and cover to let the flavors meld for another 20 minutes.
Strain through a chinois, and return to the dutch oven. If you want a very clear broth, like consome, then when the stock is simmering, add 2 scrambled egg whites to the stock, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove the egg whites, this picks up all the impurities and leaves you with a crystalline broth.
From my kitchen to yours,