Chorizo Lentil Stew

by Heather on February 20, 2012

Ohmigosh, can we please just chat for a second about how much I LOVE chorizo?

Now I know, I know, I KNOW what it is made out of traditionally and I know that hey, it’s not the healthier sausage choice for the world.  BUT it’s spicy and packs a ton of flavor and I don’t really feel the need to apologize for flavor, you know?

 

My first run-in with chorizo was in high school.  See, every Friday I would treat myself to breakfast out, which usually meant Chick-fil-A or Sunshine Donuts and a massive Diet Coke.  Which, by the way, all sounds INCREDIBLE right now.  Remind me to eat when I’m done writing this.  But there were days where I would stop at Josie’s (another local Lubbock joint) to get two breakfast burritos and a drink.  One day I ordered an egg and potato burrito and a sausage/potato burrito when I was informed that the only sausage they had was chorizo…and did I want that instead?  Not knowing how my life was going to change I said yes, got an extra thingy of salsa, and went on my merry way to school.

I sat in the parking lot and ate my first burrito, completely blind to the fact that I would never order just regular sausage from Josie’s again.  When I opened up the second I was a little scared about the bright orangey-red color from the chorizo, but I took a deep breath and dug in anyway.

 

FIREWORKS PEOPLE.  Fireworks of flavor.

 

It was spicy and salty and perfect.  Paprika-y, peppery, amazing.  In that moment I wished that I’d ordered 10 of them, although realistically my high school budget wouldn’t have been able to afford that.

 

I tell you guys that story to tell you this:  don’t be scared of the chorizo.  Embrace it.  Make it in a stew like this crazy easy one below, covered with goat cheese and steaming hot.  Just try it…and if you don’t like it?

 

Just send it to me :)

CHORIZO LENTIL STEW

  • 1 lb chorizo sausage, cut into slices (if you really don’t like chorizo or can’t find it, spicy Italian – or regular Italian – sausage will taste great too)
  • 1 15-oz can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-oz can fire-roasted diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup dried lentils***
  • 4-6 cups fresh chopped spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a big stockpot brown the chorizo in a little bit of vegetable oil, stirring constantly, until almost done – about 5-7 minutes.  Add in the cannelini beans, tomatoes, lentils, and chicken stock and stir until combined.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes until the lentils are soft and tender.  Remove from heat and stir in the spinach; cover for about 5 minutes to let it wilt.  Season with salt and pepper to taste (I ended up using maybe 1/2 tsp of salt and no pepper).  Serve hot with goat cheese!

 

***If you would like to use canned cooked lentils then make sure they are rinsed and drained, then just bring the soup to boil and make sure the chorizo is cooked all the way through – no need to go the full 30 minutes if they’re already cooked!***

I’m telling y’all, a cold winter day + chorizo lentil stew = LOVE

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