Lentejas Andaluzas Recipe
Last week I shared a simple Spanish tostada con tomate recipe. Today I would like to share with you another quick, simple, and delicious recipe taught to me by an old Sevillana lady named “Concha.” This recipe comes from Andalucía, a region in southern Spain known for its flamenco and curious history of Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, Visigoths, Moors/Muslims, and Christians, just to name a few. This recipe is as simple as mixing all the ingredients in a pot and forgetting about them, which is not unlike how many Spaniards treat their own complicated historical amalgam.
What you’ll need:
½ Cup of Lentils
Medium Cubanelle Pepper
4 Medium Garlic Cloves
½ Teaspoon Paprika Powder (or any other sweet red pepper powder, optional)
1 Bay Leaf (optional)
Some Morcilla and/or Chorizo (optional)
First, rinse 1/2 cup of lentils in cool water and let soak for at least fifteen minutes. After soaking, place lentils back in pot and, using the same measuring cup, cover with 2 cups of water. Measurements don’t need to be exact. However, the recipe will become more or less “soupy” depending on how much water you use. I like to cover lentils with at least an inch of water. Pour a chorreón (a good amount, at least a few tablespoons) of olive oil and add a few dashes of salt. If you are using a sweet red pepper powder, like paprika, add now. Mix well. Set to high heat.
While the lentils heat up, chop the onion, cubanelle pepper, tomato, and garlic. Add to the lentils and mix well. If you are using morcilla (blood sausage) or another type of Spanish sausage like chorizo, slice and add now. I cook this recipe without any meat, but morcilla will give an unmatched flavor and aroma… and it is a normal addition in Spain. If you want a meaty flavor without the use of meat, try adding smoked paprika powder instead of regular paprika powder.
After the stew boils, lower heat, tilt the lid or keep it off, and keep at a gentle rolling boil. Stir occasionally. Cook until the onions are clear and tomatoes reduce (about 30 to 45 minutes). Remove bay leaf. Serve with a warm baguette and olive oil. Enjoy!
By the bye: This recipe yields enough for me to eat half for dinner and the rest for lunch the next day. It can probably feed two for dinner with the inclusion of other courses. To personalize this recipe, try adding chopped carrots and/or spices like rosemary and oregano. Personally speaking, the more garlic the better. The measurements above are general, as I usually just measure everything by sight. Seriously consider using some smoked paprika powder instead of meat.