Venezuelan Lentil Soup (lentejas)
This is the way Venezuelans eat on a budget. A big pot of Venezuelan lentil soup (lentejas) can be stored in the fridge or even frozen for weeks and be ready for a busy day with a nutritious lunch.
Since I discovered how to make this Venezuelan classic recipe I always try to keep a package of lentils in my pantry in case I need a new badge of lentil soup.
As you may know, if you read me frequently, I’m in a kind of healthy journey and I had to put a list of healthy recipes that are both easy and nutritious.
In case you didn’t know, lentils are one of the most complete foods out there. They are high in fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates. If you are following a vegetarian or vegan diet, lentils and quinoa are going to be your best friends to keep your protein intake up.
The Venezuelan touch for this recipe is the infallible “sofrito”. A sofrito usually is a mix of onion, bell pepper and garlic cooked with some oil and then processed into a paste using a food processor or a blender. This is the root of the flavor for many Venezuelan soups featuring beans. It gives you a deeper flavor than if you just toss the onion, the bell pepper, and the garlic into the soup.
I hope you give it a try to this super easy and cheap lunch idea.
- 300 gr brown lentils
- 50 grams bacon chunks
- 1 medium onion
- 1 medium bell pepper
- 1 medium potato
- 1 small carrot
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ cup fresh coriander
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bouillon chicken cube
- ½ tbsp garlic powder
- Salt and Pepper
In a big pot over high heat boil 1 liter of water. When the water is boiling add the lentils, the bouillon cube, the carrot and the potato (cut into tiny dices) and let it cook for 10 minutes.
In the meantime heat a small pan over medium heat and pour the olive oil. Toss the bacon chunks and cook until they are semi-crispy, remove and save for later.
Toss the onion and the bell pepper cut into dices in the same pan with the bacon grease. After a couple minutes add the minced garlic and stir. When the garlic is fragrant (about 2 minutes since added) remove from the stove.
Toss the veggies mix and the coriander into a food processor and process until you get a paste --- this is the “sofrito”.
Pour the sofrito, the bacon chunks, and the garlic powder into the lentil soup and let it cook for 15 minutes more over medium heat.
Serve with some fluffy rice.