June 13, 2011

Argentine Lentils

Known in Argentina as guiso or estofado de lentejas (lentil stew), or simply lentejas (lentils), this rich, warm winter dish is packed with protein, iron, and fiber. It's happy food on a cool fall's eve, or a cold winter's night.

Since we received so many requests for recipes from our Fundraiser - here's the first installment. I have to say, this is my own recipe I was forced to write down years ago when someone asked for it. I always just had it in my head, because I was taught to make this in Argentina by Argentinians. Which means no recipe. Recipes are not the standard fair in Argentina. Or at least not necessary in your average kitchen. When you ask how to make something, this is about what you get, "Well, it's lentils, some water, onion, a little bit of garlic, a pinch of this, a dash of that - y ya está, and there you go! It's ready!" But I know that's not going to cut it in America, so here you go...

[photo credit and lentil recipe en español]

[My recipe, modified to our family's taste - meaning heavy on the spices]:



1 lb of lentils, rinsed
2 lg. potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 lg. carrots, peeled and cubed small
1 lg. onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4T butter*
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 T tomato paste
1 T paprika
4 T cumin
1 T oregano
1 bay leaf
1/4 t pepper
Salt to taste (about 1/2 - 1T)
*the secret ingredient! But you may substitute any kind of oil here if desired.
**MEAT OPTION: add up to 1 lb of any kind of sausage (we like garlic sausage, mmm...), cubed beef, or bacon (chop and cook bacon first to drain some of the fat).


In large pot, sauté onion and garlic. Add 8 cups of water, turn heat to high. Add lentils and all remaining ingredients. Stir well, bring to a boil, lower heat, cover, and cook, stirring frequently until lentils are tender. You may add more water if needed (or not) for desired consistency. Adjust salt.

Serve with fresh homemade bread (or rice, as we did at the fundraiser). Yummy happy tummy. :)


Denise said...

I was hoping you'd post some of the recipes. This looks soooo good! To me, lentils are the ultimate comfort food, and anything with 4T of cumin has to be good! :)

Katie said...

I enjoy lentils with chorizo, although garlic sausage sounds mighty tasty. Thanks for the recipe!

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