Monday, June 2, 2008

The Philosopher's Lunchbox: Edition #5

I should be writing my second year paper now; hence this post.

Lentil and Chorizo Stew

4 little chorizo sausages (the cooking kind, not the slicing kind), sliced into hefty chunks
1 large shallot
pinch red pepper flakes
pinch Spanish paprika
1 can tomatoes
1/2 pound green lentils
pinch sea salt
2 bay leaves
32 fluid oz chicken stock
2 large chard leaves, rinsed and sliced (I used rainbow chard, but I'm sure swiss or ruby or even spinach would be fine here)
a few sprigs parsley
freshly ground black pepper

Optional saffron yoghurt garnish:
a small pinch saffron threads
1 tbsp boiling water
2 tbsp greek yoghurt (I used Fage 0% fat)
pinch sea salt

Pop the sausage into a heavy, broad soup pot, and saute over high heat until nicely browned.
Add the shallot; reduce the heat and saute until softened.
Add the red pepper flakes and paprika, and saute for another minute.
Add the tomatoes, lentils, bay leaves, salt and chicken stock.
Bring to a boil and let the mixture bubble away, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes (or until the lentils are soft but retain their integrity).
Meanwhile, make the yoghurt (if you want), by steeping the saffron threads in the boiling water for a few minutes. Then add the saffron water to the yoghurt, along with a pinch of salt.
Taste the stew and yoghurt for seasoning, and add the chard to the soup pot to soften for a minute.
Serve the stew with a small dollop of the saffron yoghurt, some minced parsley, and a good grind of black pepper.

Serves 4.

Substitutions: I think vegetarian sausage would work well in this, too, as long as it had a robust, assertive flavour. Vegetable stock would also be fine in place of the chicken.
Some garlic (added alongside the red pepper flakes and paprika) could be nice with this too, although I tend to think that garlic is somewhat overused in soups and stews.

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