food,  recipes

A hearty one-pot meal

Despite the fact that Glossing Over It is subtitled “a blog on fiction, fashion, food & wine,” there hasn’t been a whole lot of food blogging going on here lately. It’s probably because, even though I love to cook, I haven’t been doing much of it since a certain little bundle of joy arrived last July. These days, most of my dinners come from the frozen section at Trader Joe’s. Mmm… pot stickers.

On the weekends, though, my husband and I usually try to make at least one big meal that we can eat as leftovers during the week. Actually, to say that “we” make the meal is kind of misleading. I always intend to make the meal, or at least help, but the reality is that my husband ends up doing it. I get sidetracked trying to keep our suddenly mobile 7-month-old from taking all the books off our bookshelves and crushing himself with the Norton Anthology of Poetry.

This week, our big weekend meal was Spanish lentil soup, a hearty favorite from the days when I studied abroad in Spain my junior year in college. I was lucky enough to live with a family whose matriarch was a great cook. Some of my classmates weren’t so lucky. A girlfriend of mine once got served a dinner of five hot dogs on a plate with no buns. Meanwhile, I enjoyed hearty, from-scratch meals like this one, which is surprisingly easy to make (or so my husband says) and only requires getting one pot dirty.

Sopa de Lentejas (Spanish Lentil Soup)

  • 1 bag lentils
  • 1 sliced chorizo sausage (if you can find Spanish chorizo, lucky you! Otherwise you can use Mexican; that’s what we did)
  • 1 onion cut into wedges
  • 3-4 carrots sliced
  • 2 celery ribs sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 3 cloves garlic diced
  • 3 potatoes peeled and diced
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 2 cans tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • half teaspoon roasted red pepper flakes
  • red wine vinegar

1. Soak the lentils in water for an hour before cooking. Rinse them and pick through them to remove any pebbles or debris that sometimes lurk in lentils.

2. Put the soaked lentils, sliced sausage, onion wedges, sliced carrots, sliced celery, bay leaves, bell pepper, and garlic into your biggest pot and cover with water. DO NOT ADD SALT AT THIS POINT. It will make the lentils tough, and you want them to get soft as they cook.

3. Turn stove to high to bring mixture to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer. Keep the lid on so that the water doesn’t boil off. It needs to cook for an hour or more until the lentils are soft and the veggies are tender.

4. After everything is tender you can add the roasted red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to your personal taste. Also add the 2 cans of tomato sauce. Continue to let the soup simmer another 20 minutes or more.

5. Finish the soup by topping it off with a heavy pour of red wine vinegar (a couple of tablespoons or so). Remove bay leaves and serve with crusty bread and red wine. Buen provecho.