Spanish Lentil Soup


(Norsk oppskrift, klikk her: Spansk linsesuppe)

Now that we have started September and the temperatures begins to fall, it’s time to dust off the hearty soup recipes. There is nothing like warming, nutritious and tasty soups when the autumn weather sets in. This Spanish Lentil Soup, or Lentejas a la Jardinera, is a soup that is widely used in Spain, based on lentils and vegetables. I also use Chorizo, because it packs in some nice flavors to the soup.  Of course, vegetarians and vegans simply omit the Chorizo, and it will still be a flavorful soup.

This is a large recipe, perfect when you are feeding lots of people – or you can freeze it and save for a busy day.

Lentejas a la Jardinera (1)

Spanish lentil soup - Lentejas a la Jardinera

A hearty soup, packed with flavor, perfect for the cold autumn evenings.

Ingredients

  • 500 grams lentils
  • 1 onion
  • 1 leek
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 potato
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • Oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 liters Bouillon or broth
  • Herbs, salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 whole chorizo

Directions

Remember that dried lentils often need to soak for a night, read the package for information.

Chop the chorizo and fry in a little oil in a large pot. Peel and chop the vegetables. Sauté onion, leek and garlic together with the chorizo. Add the other vegetables, stir and sauté for a few minutes before you add drained lentils. Add white wine, vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar) and the bay leaves.

Cover with boiling bouillon or broth. Season with dried oregano, parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Let it simmer until the lentils and the vegetables are tender, approx. 20 minutes.

If the soup is too thin, put some of the lentils and vegetable in a blender and purée, and then add back to the soup.

Serve piping hot, with good bread on the side. Enjoy.


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Beef and Guinness Stew (English)


(Click the link for the Norwegian version of this recipe: Beef and Guinness Stew (Norsk) )

As some of you may have read in An Irishman goes into a bar…, Sir Nerdalot and I gifted each other a weekend in Dublin, Ireland, and I promised pictures and posts from said trip.

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Beef and Guinness Pie at the East Side Tavern

We left Denmark on the year’s warmest day, 32 ºC, and arrived in Dublin in nice and sunny weather and 10 º C less. Quite pleasant. After checking in at the hotel, we went for a walk towards town and found a great place to have dinner, the East Side Tavern, where we had the most delicious Beef and Guinness Pie, a dish that I just had to try to recreate. Mind you, Old Mamasan has great technical difficulties with piecrust, so I opted for a stew instead.

The Beef and Guinness stew is so delicious that it will knock yer socks off and leave a twinkle in your eyes! The Guinness adds an incredible depth to the dish. And what could be easier then to plop all ingredients in one pot and stick in in the oven to cook for 3 hours? Now that leaves you three hours to do something else – like reading my blog.

eclectic-prints-and-postersBeef and Guinness Stew

  • 4 bay leaves
  • 500 g quality diced stewing beef
  • 1,5 tins Guinness (1/2 tin for the cook)
  • 4 sticks celery
  • 2 large onions
  • 5-6  carrots
  • olive oil
  • 2 heaped tablespoon plain flour
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • sugar to taste (might not be necessary at all)

Jamie Oliver does not brown his meat before cooking this dish, but I chose to do so. I guess that is just an old habit of mine. So the first thing I did was turn the oven on at 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Then I browned my meat in a large, oven safe casserole in some oil – while preparing the vegetables; peel and roughly chop the onions and carrots.

With the casserole pan on medium heat, add the vegetables and the bay leaves with 2 lugs of olive oil and fry for about 10 minutes.

Add the flour and pour in the Guinness and tinned tomatoes. Give it a good stir and season with salt and pepper.

Bring to the boil, put the lid on and either let it simmer slowly on your hob or – as I did – cook it in the oven for 2,5 hours.

After 2,5 hours, take the lid off and taste. If it is too acidic from the tomatoes, then you add a little sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Also if the gravy is too runny for your taste then you leave the lid off for the last 30 minutes of cooking. If it is just perfect, then put the lid back on and let it continue to simmer for 30 minutes more.

Remember to take the bay leaves out before you serve. Serve with mashed potatoes, or eat it as is. You can also add some delish dumplings, if that is to your liking. This pot of yumm is surprisingly healthy, especially if you refrain from adding large quantities of double cream to your mashed potatoes.

Now, there IS alcohol in this dish. Many believe that the alcohol disappears when cooked, but that is a myth. The percentage of alcohol retained in the finished dish varies depending on cooking method and time. As this dish has been slow cooked for 3 hours, about 5 % of the alcohol remains in the dish. So very little of the alcohol you put in remains, and you didn’t put much into the stew in the first place, Guinness contains 4,2 % alcohol. Then this gets mixed with the other ingredients and you do not eat this whole thing by yourself in one go. We are three big eaters in this household, and we had two full dinners from this one pot of goodness. Eat yourself drunk on this stew? Nah, not gonna happen.

Fish Soup Thai Style


For Norwegian text, press HERE

There is a fairly great chance that a real Thai-chef will be appalled by me calling this soup a Thai soup – but nevertheless it is mm mm GOOD!

(Change out vegetables with what you have lying about or what you like best. All kind of white fish can be used, I haappened to have  plaice fillets in the freezer)

Ingredients:04-20160123_181511

  • 500 g fish, diced
  • 200 g cleaned prawns
  • 1 leek, in rings
  • 1 Chinese garlic, minced
  • neutral oil
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 broccoli broken into small florets
  • 1 tin sweet corn
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 glass thai red curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons lemongrass pasta
  • 2 teaspoons crushed ginger
  • 8 dl coconut milk
  • 7 dl fish stock
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 splash lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil

 

Cut up all the ingredients mentioned above, so that everything is ready before you get started.

Saute the leeks and garlic in a little oil, then push to one side of the skillet. Have a little more oil on the empty side and fry curry paste, ginger and lemongras for about 30 seconds before you mix it all well.

Add the coconut milk and fish stock, bring to the boil. Add the vegetables and simmer for about 10 minutes. Season with chilli flakes, sugar, lime juice, coriander and basil

Add the fish and let them soak for about 3 minutes (Note – it should not boil!). Then add the shrimp.

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Serve with rice or noodles, and possibly a plop of sour cream if it is a little too spicy.

Enjoy!11-20160123_19282612-20160123_192831

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