This Spanish Lentil and Vegan Chorizo Stew will make lentils your favourite staple food – if they aren’t already. Smokey and savoury, this nurturing meal will make any vegan sausage rise to the occasion!
On our way passing through Spain, we came across a bag of lentils – Lentejas de la Armuña. Not only were they a regional specialty product, but also came in a really nice cloth bag! We are huge fans of plastic-free packaging and couldn’t resist buying them. This bag we actually got at a fuel stop in the little service station shop. But generally, supermarkets in Spain and Portugal seem more on the ball about plastic free shopping. A lot of them sell nuts and legumes loose! It would be great to see that coming to the UK.
Lentejas de la Armuña are a geographically protected crop from the La Armuña region of Spain, to the north of Salamanca. Like their better known French cousin the Puy lentil they are also green, but the similarities end there. Lentejas de la Armuña are lighter green and rather flat. They are also much larger, averaging 5-7 millimetres. This makes for a substantial and rich texture when you use them in a dish. They cook very well, without separating from their skins, which gives an even bite. They are also remarkably rich in calcium, iron, protein and other nutrients when compared to other lentil varieties. Add to all that a full, nutty flavour, and these Spanish lentils certainly have a lot going for them!
With such a regional product on hand, we thought it would be nice to cook a meal typical for the region as well. When we came across some vegan chorizo – a spicy Spanish type of sausage – it wasn’t hard to choose a recipe. We actually thought of making our own vegan chorizo before, but haven’t come round to trying it yet. Our discovery of this Spanish Lentil and Chorizo Stew surely refreshed our motivation. We’ll let you know when we’ve cracked the perfect homemade vegan chorizo 😉 For now, we’ll do with the shop-bought kind. If no type of ‘picante’ spicy sausage is available where you are, try substituting tofu sausage or similar, and add a good amount of paprika and salt when you are frying it.
That said, let’s get cooking our vegan lentil stew!
superveasy to whip up. The soaking is important to reduce the cooking time of the lentils. Nothing more painful than to take the lid off the pressure cooker in hungry-excited anticipation, just to discover that your meal is not done and has to go back on the hob for another 10 minutes… If you don’t have time to soak, the stew will just need longer to cook.
The only other critical thing is the frying of the vegan chorizo. Vegan sausage tends to behave quite differently from their non-vegan counterpart. I recommend frying the slices on their own before combining with other ingredients. This allows the vegan sausage to get nicely crisp. Which is what you want. Besides getting some fried flavour, it also means the chorizo will have a better, chewy texture in the stew. When we first cooked this tasty meal, we made the small mistake of frying the vegan chorizo together with the onions. The chorizo never really came in full contact with the pan, did not crisp up and later fall apart rather easily.
But don’t worry, and just don’t be impatient with the vegan chorizo and the rest of this lentil stew comes together as easy as a flick of the hand. Once the onions and spices are fried as well, it is time for some one-pot pressure cooker magic. The pressure cooker is our #1 best friend in the camper van kitchen. I really love it every time. You just throw a bunch of ingredients together in the pot, let the heat and pressure build up, wait some time … and TA-DAAA! What comes out is a ready cooked meal waiting to be enjoyed.
We have a lot of favourite pressure cooker meals, but the Spanish Lentil and Chorizo Stew earned its place in the top 10 in an instant. I am sure you’ll like it too 😉
Love and pea… erm, lentils.
Paul & Sophie
Vegan Spanish Lentil and Chorizo Stew
- 1 1/2 cups green lentils or Lentejas de la Armuña
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 carrot
- 1 sweet potato
- 1/2 red pepper
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 3 1/2 cups water (less if using pressure cooker method)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (1/2 a lemon)
- 1 tsp stock powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 15 cm vegan chorizo
- Soak lentils overnight or quick soak in boiling water for 30 mins.
- Prepare the veggies: Chop the onion and garlic. Dice the red pepper and sweet potato. Slice the carrot.
- In a large saucepan, heat up 1 tbsp olive oil. Then add the onion and garlic and fry until the onion gets soft and brown.
- Then add the smoked paprika, paprika, red pepper and tomato puree. Stir frequently and fry for another minute.
- Next add the water, lemon juice, soaked lentils, carrot, sweet potato, stock powder, oregano, bay leaves, salt & pepper.
- Bring to a simmer, and cook with a lid on for 20-30 mins or until lentils are tender.
- In a frying pan, fry the sliced chorizo in olive oil until it crisps up. Then add to the stew before serving.
Pressure Cooker Method
- Follow the method above, simply reduce the water to 2 1/2 cups.
- Pressure cook for 15 minutes on high pressure, and release pressure naturally.
If you like lentils you should also try our Squash Lentil Risotto recipe – inspired by the Roman Baths of Galicia!
Love and peas
Sophie and Paul