Potaje de Lentejas – Lentil Stew

Another “Plato de Cuchara” or spoon dish – we like our pulses here in Spain.  Many of these dishes were traditional as you could feed large families with few ingredients which were not costly.  Meats are typically added at the end (usually pork products) so the beauty is that they can be vegetarian dishes too, if you prefer.

Lentils are great, as apart from being cheap, they cook fairly quickly and only need rinsing but not presoaking.

For four people as a main dish or six as a starter you´ll need

  • About 500g of lentils – we have the flat green ones here
  • Water to cover
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • Half each of a red and green pepper, chopped into bite sized chunks
  • Two tomatoes cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A couple of carrots peeled and finely diced
  • A stick of celery plus the leaves (if it has leaves).  Finely dice the celery but not the leaves.
  • 4 or 5 whole fat cloves of garlic
  • 2 medium potatoes peeled and cut into small cubes (keep these in a bowl of water separately)
  • Sprig of fresh thyme or rosemary if you have it
  • ¼ teaspoon each of pimentón and paprika
  • Salt to taste (at end of cooking)
  • Optional – a couple of chorizo and/or morcilla or your favourite sausages

Rinse the lentils then add all the vegetables and spices apart from the salt to a large cooking pot.  Cover well with water, add the oil and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat slightly but don´t let them come off the boil while cooking as this will make the lentils hard. They will probably take about 45 minutes or so.

When the lentils are soft, add the potato and meats (if using) and continue cooking until the potatoes are cooked. Remove the bay leaf and celery leaves and add salt (and pepper too if you like) to taste and you´re ready to serve. Slice the sausages into smaller pieces before serving. A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon over the top really lifts the flavour, but that´s just the way I like it!

Tastes even better the next day.


69 thoughts on “Potaje de Lentejas – Lentil Stew

  1. Soup is the perfect food in Lancashire at this time of the year. I’m definitely making this one soon.

      1. It’s freezing here! But it’s not raining, for which I’m eternally grateful! 😉

  2. Such a good winter recipe! And I’m sure it would be even better next day, and I love squeezing lemon juice and adding olive oil to stews like this….so it’s perfect! Had a bit of a surprise when I saw your new layout – I think the old one had a bit more space and simplicity, though. But it’s good to have a change sometimes!

    1. First of all thanks for the feedback on the new look – I´m probably going to play around with a bit over the next week or so…still undecided! And glad you liked the recipe – olive oil and lemon juice can transform a dish I think.

  3. A couple weeks ago, someone posted a lentil recipe and later that day I found myself in a grocery buying lentils, etc. I need to go run some errands in a few minutes, one of them being the grocer. WIthout any plans for dinner, and this being a cold, blustery day, I think I’ll be buying lentils again, especially considering I have everything else in your ingredient list. Thanks, Tanya, for the inspiration! 🙂

    1. It´s a love or hate thing I find. Lots of young people in the UK hate them until they go off to University and then have to live on a budget – then they learn to love them!

  4. I love its name too, I am a great fan of eating out of a bowl with a spoon, John likes it too because then he can hunch over the bowl and just shovel it in. I know that is not a pretty thought but he does like his food! He will love this. I am sure i have lentils in the pantry too so i might get onto it !! .. c

  5. Without your blog I would never have known that these were called “pulses”… I wonder where that word came from? Anyway, I love the new look of your blog:) and this looks like my kind of meal. Occasionally I throw tofu into stuff (shocks my husband) and I think I could try that with this one…

    1. I don´t know why they are called pulses either …will have to look into that! Thanks for the comment on the new look…it´s a work in progress 🙂 I think the tofu would work well with this and absorb all the flavours. It´s easily adaptable to a non meat version and still tastes great. At least, we think so!

  6. This is very much like our version (ours is the vegetarian style). We have it at least once per month. My wife thinks I’m crazy, but I always add some crushed hot red chilis in my bowl.

  7. I love your new look! Lentils are my fave at this time of year but I just saw Jamie doing a barley risotto and want to find some barley now, any ideas?! I emailed my friend Margarita about the olives but she has already given the rest of her olives to her neighbour to pickle as she never gets it right! Her oil this year is soo green though, I have ordered 10 litres, can’t wait!!

    1. Lucky you with the oil – it will be amazing! We will probably pick next week. As for Barley…well, I love tabbouleh made with barley but for more warming soups how about a spicy tomato and barley one? Do let me know if you find any! Am off to Gib (don´t like it but I want to do some shopping) on Friday, so should find some hard to get ingredients there.

  8. New look! I like it 🙂
    Qué rica receta Tanya. Me encantan las lentejas y la sopa de lentejas es una de mis recetas favoritas de la infancia.
    Gracias por compartirla con nosotros 😉

  9. Mmm… yes, I think some people said it already, WOW YOUR BLOG LOOKS SO DIFFERENT! 🙂
    But don’t listen to what I think because I don’t like change very often.. It’ll take me a few visits to get used to the blue 🙂 I LOVE the header pic, though 😀 I’m already used to it, hehe…

    And by the way, this soup’s looking amazing! Wouldn’t mind trying it some day…

    1. It´s funny that I chose blue – it´s not normally one of my colours but it seems to work well on a lot of other food blogs. Maybe I should google “what background colour complements food photography”! Hope I haven´t stressed you out with the changes 😦

  10. Where to begin…first I love the new look!! I’m looking at self-hosting but so confused with it all…did you also switch to self hosting?
    Secondly, I love a good lentil soup and this is one healthy, chunky gorgeous one!!

    1. Thanks for the kind words about the new look – I just chose a new theme (I think it´s called Bueno) but not self hosting. Pleased you like the recipe too, it´s one I make often 🙂

  11. I can’t believe that I cooked a similar dish last week and have it ready to be posted. When you see the photo you will notice how alike they are. I made mine into a risotto. Two cooks with very similar tastes. That’s a good thing!

    1. That´s a good thing indeed and I often have the same thing happen. I cook something and am about to post and then I see several others almost identical. Never mind though – I think it´s lovely to see everyone´s little twist on a seasonal dish! Looking forward to seeing yours soon.

  12. Your stew looks so appealing that you make me want to change all the cooking plans for tonight! I love lentils and haven’t had them for such a long time (I have no idea why). I also appreciate them because they do not require soaking.
    Thank you for visiting my blog, I am very happy to discover yours. It seems fascinating and full of inspiring recipes.

  13. Hey Chica! Just want you to know I’m indebted to you and this recipe for keeping my vegetarian bones alive. I liked it so much I included it in my round-up of best Spanish travel posts for November over on my site!

    Hopefully you can come over and answer the questions I posed for you too!

  14. Hello Chica! Your lentil stew looks gorgeous, idea *saved* for cooler weather, and a camp-fire I think! Right now tho, it was 41 deg C here today, killer hot, so I’ll skip the comfort foods… I’m off to play some more blog catch-up now. See you soon 🙂

    PS I like your new look!

    1. Hi there and good to see you again! Not really the wether for you for stews and soups I think. I still find it funny to get my head around the differences from northern and southern hemisphere seasons 😉 Thanks for the kind words…

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