There are few spices that hit my sweet spot more than Spanish paprika (also known as pimentón). This smokey and spicy cousin of the more common Hungarian paprika is one of the secret weapons of Spanish cuisine and is a key ingredient in Spanish chorizo. Unlike its Latin American counterpart with the same name, Spanish chorizo is hard and oily like a salami and packed with pimentón. A little of this stuff goes a long way…this entire pot of soup is flavored by a mere 1/4 lb of the stuff.
This soup is about as easy as it gets and when the cold weather starts to hit, there are few things better.
Spanish Lentil and Chorizo Soup
- 1 cup dry lentils
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Spanish chorizo (about 4-5oz), peeled and diced
- 4 large cloves of garlic, unpeeled
- 1 small green bell pepper
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 12 baby potatoes, quartered
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cups spinach
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, bell pepper, and chorizo, sautéing until the vegetables are softened. Pour in enough water so everything is covered by at least an inch (about 6 cups). Add in the lentils, potatoes, and whole garlic cloves. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Let this simmer until the lentils and potatoes are tender (about 30 minutes). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the cloves of garlic, squeeze garlic from its skin and mash. Return to the pot. Stir in the spinach. Once the spinach has wilted, add salt and pepper to get the taste where you want it.