Times are tough, so we have to stretch the budget to a max. Nothing better than soups, stews and pulse dishes with lots of vegetables, good on the pocket (especially if you leave out the meat), healthy and wonderful on snowy days like today. And lentils are delicious a couple of days after cooking.
4 handfuls brown lentils
3 medium-sized potatoes
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp paprika
1 ham bone
1 turnip (optional)
salt & a couple of whole peppercorns
option: 1 chorizo & 1 onion “morcilla” (black pudding)
- Soak the lentils overnight.
- Place soaked lentils in a large stewing pot.
- Squash the garlic cloves with the side of a knife and slip off the skins.
- Peel the potatoes and “crack” into pieces, this makes the stew thicker.
- Thickly slice carrots, cut leek into 1 inch lengths and quarter the turnip.
- Add all the veggies to the pot along with the ham bone, season with the salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to the boil, then gently simmer for about ¾-1 hour.
- Meanwhile, put the chorizo and morcilla (if using) in a small saucepan, cover with water and simmer for as long as it takes the lentils to cook. A lot of the fat will seep out, you can throw out that water, cover again with fresh water and keep simmering for a less fatty stew.
- Drain and slice the chorizo and morcilla and add to the stew in the last 10 minutes.
- Blend the paprika in a small bowl with some of the cooking liquid and add to the pot in the last 10 minutes.
- Serve with crusty bread and a green salad.