The beauty of this Colombian style lentil soup is that it is super easy, and is just as tasty when it’s only lukewarm as it is when it’s hot.
A version of lentil soup is found among worldwide cuisines, and carries similarities among them, but Colombian lentil soup is characterized by the delicious chunks of chorizo running through it. In this recipe, though, the chorizo is decidedly absent… but the soup is just as tasty, and is now vegetarian friendly. In my opinion, the only other way to do it is with a little jamon serrano, like you’ll find in Spain.
The other day, the freshest of fresh summer vegetables got the better of me as I was chopping them for a salad. With a pile of leftovers, and a pretty bare kitchen, I scoured my pantry and found a few additional items. Lentils? Check. Rice? Check. Vegetable stock? Check. Plus spices, always, so I had the workings of an amazing summer dinner to enjoy with the family that was done before just one load of laundry was ready for the dryer. So, go check your pantry and your produce drawer and get cookin’!
Sopa de Lentejas
Yields 6 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, chopped
½ teaspoon each cumin and chili powder
1½ cups lentils
2 tablespoons tomato paste
7 cups vegetable stock, or one large can or box, plus water to reach 7 cups
1 large potato, peeled and diced
3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
cooked white rice
1. Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and saute for about 2 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Meanwhile, rinse the lentils and set aside.
2. Add bell pepper and garlic, and continue to saute for 2 minutes, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn’t brown.
3. Add tomatoes and spices, and stir to combine. Salt the vegetables lightly at this point. Cook until the vegetables are just soft.
4. Pour in the lentils, and stir in the tomato paste. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Simmer the soup for another 20 minutes.
5. Add the potatoes to the soup and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
6. Finally, stir the spinach into the soup. Continue cooking for about 2 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Allow the soup to cool slightly and serve with a scoop of cooked white rice.
Just a tip…when reheating leftover soup, add 1/4 cup stock or water before reheating.
**Adapted from mycolombianrecipes.com
Other recipes by Carolyn:
Camarones a la Criolla (Shrimp Creole Style)
Pollo en Fricasé
Bistec Encebollado (Steak and Onions)
Coctel de Camarones (Shrimp Cocktail)
Tacos de Carnitas
Pan de Bono
Huachinango a la Veracruzana (Snapper Veracruz)
Mil Colones Stew
Mofongo Relleno de Camarones
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