Lentils come in different varieties. There are small ones, large ones and it comes in different colors too –brown, black, green, pink, red-orange and yellow. You can buy them with our without skins, split or whole. These seed like legumes are high in protein and good source of fiber.
Sopa de lenteja is a common Colombian lentil soup recipe that is a meal in itself. It can be eaten as is or with a steaming hot cup of rice.
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup chorizo, sliced
3 medium sized onions, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped scallions
2 large tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
5 cups water
1 1/4 cup dried lentils
1/2 cup grated carrots
1 large potato, cubed into bite sized pieces
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
Salt and pepper to taste
For the cilantro cream:
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
First, prepare the cilantro cream by combining the heavy cream, cilantro and lime juice in a small bowl. Season it with salt and pepper. Mix well. Transfer it to a jar or sealed container and refrigerate it until needed.
Next, heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Fry the chorizo for 5-8 minutes or until they are browned. After, transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess oil.
Place the garlic and onions in the pot. Saute them for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and the onions are translucent. Add the carrots, tomatoes and scallions to the pot. Season it with salt and pepper. Cover and cook it for 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the cumin and cook the vegetables for another minute.
Stir in the lentils and pour in the water. Increase the heat to high and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook it covered for around 30-45 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Do not overcook. We don’t want the lentils to be mushy. Add more water if needed.
Put the chorizo and potatoes in the pot with vegetables and lentils. Cook it for another 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Once the soup is ready, ladle it into individual soup bowls. Place a spoon of cilantro cream in each one. Serve immediately.
Photo Courtesy Of: mmmarilyn