A very Spanish dish which is liked by a good part of the population is lentils. There is an old saying that goes "either you eat them or you leave them". It is a typical dish of Spanish gastronomy and it is perfect for the coming winter season, when temperatures drop. There is nothing more comforting than good homemade lentils!
What is lentil soup with meat?
Lentils are more than familiar to all Spaniards and are even a dish that exists in many Latin American countries, with their corresponding variations and adaptations. The origin of lentils dates back some 7,000 or 9,000 years, and they come from the Middle East! It was precisely in this area, as well as in parts of Egypt, where lentils began to be cultivated until they reached Spain and its colonies.
During the Middle Ages, lentils were the basis of many peoples’ diets. It was precisely in Avila where lentils with meat, particularly with chorizo, became more than famous and began to reach other corners of Spain. From this recipe, which emerged between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, there have been several adaptations of lentil soup with meats from the slaughter of pigs. Thus, lentils can be accompanied by chorizo, blood sausage or lean ham.
Nowadays you can prepare vegetable lentils which, as the name suggests, contain vegetables such as carrots, or make a delicious lentil soup with meat. The choice is yours!
The benefits of lentils
Lentils belong to the group of legumes and are one of the bases of the Mediterranean diet. They are well known for their high iron content, but this is not their only benefit. Lentils, for example, have proteins, large doses of fiber, B vitamins, vitamins A and E, as well as folic acid and minerals. In addition, they have slow absorption of carbohydrates.
They are the perfect choice if you want to regulate intestinal transit and raise iron levels in the blood. They are also good for athletes, as they contribute to improving muscle mass, help the proper functioning of the nervous system and are even good for hair and skin. Of course, they are ideal for the winter season, when temperatures drop - lentils will help you warm up!
Nowadays, they are also consumed as a salad side dish for people who follow a vegan diet.
Lentil soup with meat recipe
- 300 grams of special beef for stews.
- 300 grams of lentils.
- Two carrots.
- One green bell pepper.
- One leek.
- One onion.
- One ripe tomato.
- Two cloves of garlic.
- A bay leaf.
- Meat broth.
- A teaspoon of sweet paprika.
- Extra virgin olive oil.
- Coarse salt.
- A small glass of cognac.
- Chorizo, blood sausage, bacon or lean ham.
- The first thing to do is to prepare the lentils. To do this you should soak them for at least one hour before cooking them. The lentils should be left in salted water; this will shorten the cooking time. Some people choose to soak them longer and also clean them so that there are no broken or split lentils.
- Remove the meat from the refrigerator two hours before cooking. Cut it into irregular pieces and put it in a saucepan with a drizzle of oil and a pinch of coarse salt. You can use any type of meat you like, including pork and chicken.
- Prepare the stir-fry in a large saucepan. You should peel and slice the garlic; cut the green bell pepper and the tomato. Stir these ingredients with a drizzle of oil and a bay leaf. Keep in mind that the bell pepper and tomato should be cut into small pieces.
- Stir constantly to prevent the mixture from sticking.
- Once the meat is ready, add the garlic, bell pepper and tomato stir-fry.
- Stir a couple of times before adding a liter of water.
- While the meat and the stir-fry are cooking, chop the carrots and leek.
- When the meat water comes to a boil, pour in the carrots and leek.
- Add the sweet paprika to the pot, as well as the meat stock. It is advisable to use a ladle or a cube.
- Pour the lentils into the saucepan and season with salt.
- Add a small glass of cognac to give them a different touch.
- Let the lentils cook until they are ready. The time depends on the pot or pan you are using, as well as on the lentils. In a traditional pot, the lentils will take up to half an hour.
- Towards the end of cooking, add the chorizo, lean ham, blood sausage and bacon. These ingredients are optional, but very traditional.
- Remove from the heat and serve immediately.
- You can accompany them with a little rice in the soup, which will give it a unique touch and is a favorite option in many homes!