RED LENTIL & MEXICAN VENISION CHORIZO SOUPWednesday, February 11, 2015
In some cultures eating lentils on New Year's Eve traditionally symbolises hope for a prosperous new year, most likely because of their round, coin-like form. I like to think that lentils also symbolise that tasty things are about to be eaten!
This delicious soup really showcases lentils as the star of the show. Their earthy flavours are intensified with sultry smoked paprika and enhanced with the crispy addition of some easy to make Mexican Chorizo.
The first element of this dish needs a little head start. It couldn't be any simpler though, you just throw it all in a plastic tub and leave it overnight in the fridge. I used a mixture of venison and pork for this mix but it works equally well with just pork. Just make sure you use fabulous quality meat and if possible, grind it yourself just before using it. Grinding your meat at the last minute helps it retain moisture giving excellent results in any dish you are using it in.
MEXICAN VENISON CHORIZO
WHAT YOU NEED
250g venison, minced
100g pork, minced
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup red wine
WHAT YOU DO
Simply mix everything together in a plastic tub with a lid. Once mixed together, place the lid on and leave in the fridge overnight.
For the soup, heat some oil in a frying pan and fry little bits of the chorizo until crispy. Drain and add to the top of the soup.
This stuff is amazing in salads, scrambled eggs, tortillas, mixed with pasta and baked into portobello mushrooms too. In fact its a pretty dynamite thing to have in the fridge as an addition to so many dishes. It keeps for a week in the fridge- if it ever lasts that long!!
This is my simple lentil soup recipe and it is a fabulous lunch or appetizer. If you don't have any Mexican Chorizo in the fridge, feel free to eat this as it is or add some crispy bacon pieces or thin strips of pan fried salami for added texture and crunch.
RED LENTIL SOUP
WHAT YOU NEED
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. cumin seeds
Pinch of sugar
Splash of red wine or balsamic vinegar
400 g crushed tomatoes
150 g red lentils
500 ml chicken stock
Salt and Black Pepper
WHAT YOU DO
Fry the onion, carrot and garlic in a pan until starting to soften. Add everything else and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Allow to cool a little and blend the soup till smooth- add a little more stock if it's too thick. Place it back in the pan adding salt and pepper to taste (lots of pepper works perfectly in this soup). Heat the soup back up when ready to serve.
Before serving sprinkle with the crispy Chorizo pieces and a little parsley.
This soup freezes wonderfully and is a welcome, warming back up when the days are cold and busy.