Everybody loves Mexican food and it’s no real surprise as to why.
Each Mexican dish is filled with incredible ingredients and flavor, and you can’t help but enjoy every single bite.
One Mexican dish you might not have heard of though is Lentejas. If you are curious about what Lentejas are, then you have definitely come to the right place.
We will be going over exactly what the Lentejas dish is as well as some other information about it that will give you a bit more clarity.
So let’s get started!
What Are Lentejas Made of?
So what exactly is Lentejas? Well, it is basically a popular Mexican soup or stew that is incredibly delicious, doesn’t take too long to make, and in most cases, it’s quite healthy.
The word “Lentejas” is actually the Spanish word for “lentils” so that should give you a big clue as to what the main ingredient in this soup is!
Other ingredients that make up Lentejas include carrots, cilantro, tomatoes, chicken broth, onions, salt, and pepper.
While making Lentejas for yourself is pretty easy, it does require a fair bit of chopping and prep, but don’t let that put you off.
It’s an incredible dish that is worth the extra prep time, and really, that “extra prep” time is barely noticeable.
Ingredients In Lentejas
We have briefly looked at what ingredients you should expect to use when it comes to making Lentejas, but let’s take a more in-depth look at the ingredients now.
No two Lentejas recipes are the same, and some people do add extra ingredients in, so let’s just look at the core ingredients here.
- Lentejas (lentils) – This is the main ingredient in the soup. You can’t make lentejas without lentils!
- Carrots – this ingredient is added to give the whole dish a bit of texture.
- Chicken Broth – You can use homemade or store-bought chicken broth for this. While homemade is better, if you don’t have the time, store-bought still works. You can even use vegetable broth instead and it will still taste just as good.
- Chicken Boullion – This ingredient is added to give the whole dish some extra flavor.
- Cilantro – and for even more flavor and thickness, you’ll be adding in some cilantro. This ingredient is a must-have for this dish! You ideally want to be using fresh cilantro for the lentejas.
These are usually the core ingredients you will find in every lentejas dish, but most recipes will call for other ingredients too.
Some other ingredients you might come across for lentejas include chorizo sausage, garlic cloves, potatoes, bay leaves, bread, and tomatoes.
It really depends on what recipe you’re following when it comes to the actual ingredients list, but as long as you stick to the core ingredients, it will still taste absolutely delicious!
How To Make Lentejas?
So if you’ve made it this far and you are still curious about lentejas, then we’ve got a recipe that you can try for yourself!
This recipe does contain some of the extra ingredients on top of the standard ones, but you’ll be more than happy with the results!
This recipe will create more of a stew than a soup, but either way, it’s still classic lentejas!
You can also find the recipe here
- 1 lb green lentils – make sure they are soaked for an hour and then drained
- Olive oil
- 3–6 cups water (or chicken broth) and 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 lb mild chorizo sausage (Spanish chorizo if possible, Mexican if not)
- 1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes, diced and drained
- 1 large, diced carrot
- 3 bay leaves
- A loaf of bread
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 medium yellow potatoes, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- First, prepare the chorizo by cooking it as a whole sausage or slicing it. You can also remove it from its casting and browning.
- Get a large pot and add in the lentils, chorizo, tomatoes, carrot, potatoes, bay leaves, and salt. Make sure that you add enough water to cover the lentils and bring it to a gentle boil before you reduce it to medium heat.
- Now, simmer the lentils for 45 mins to 1hr and 15 mins. Make sure you continue to add more water so that the lentils are always covered.
- While the lentils are cooking, add two tablespoons of olive oil to a saute pan and also add in the sliced garlic until it starts to have a nice color. Make sure that when you remove the garlic from the pan, you leave the olive oil in and set the pan aside.
- Add the diced onions to the pan and cook them on a medium-low heat until they are translucent. Then, remove the onions and set them aside.
- Now, measure out the remaining water and place it near the stove. Take the pan off the heat and add an extra splash of olive oil, then add the paprika. Put the pan back on the heat for about 15 seconds and stir the paprika around to release the flavor. To prevent the paprika from burning, pour in the water immediately.
- Get a blender or food processor and add the garlic, onions, and water with smoked paprika. Blend this mixture into a paste. It’s important to be careful at this stage because the mixture is going to be hot.
- Finally, gently stir the paste into the lentils which should be simmering on the stove. Allow the lentils to finish their cooking time. The lentils should be done when the potatoes and carrots are cooked through and the lentils themselves should be soft.
If you want to save a bit of time when it comes to making this recipe, you can add the diced onions and garlic in with the lentils at the beginning instead, but you should know that doing this will cause the flavors to be less rich and vibrant.
The dish itself is great for freezing and in most cases, it actually tastes even better the day after you’ve cooked it.
Don’t forget to serve the lentejas with a nice loaf of bread. This particular recipe should serve about 8 people.
What Other Things Can You Eat Lentejas With?
Though they work fantastically in a soup or stew, you can eat lentejas with a lot of other things too.
Some other things you can eat lentejas with include rice, burrito, bolognese, soup, and beef.
Lentejas are used quite a lot in many Spanish and Mexican dishes, so they really do work with most Spanish and Mexican dishes.
They are packed with proteins, and fiber, but they have a low-fat content.
If you are looking for an ingredient to use in your dishes that is tasty but healthy, lentejas are perfect for you to try.
So there you have it! Lentejas are quite literally lentils!
They can be enjoyed in many different dishes and recipes, but they are most commonly used in lentejas soups, or stews.
Give the recipe we have provided a try to really get a taste of how delicious lentejas can be.
Once you have tried this recipe for the first time, you’ll find yourself making it again and again!