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close up shot of lentil and chorizo soup

Lentil and Chorizo Soup

  • Author: Shelagh
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 60
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Global


Be sure to use the smoky, Spanish-style, cured chorizo. Ground chorizo has a different flavor and loose texture, and doesn’t work as well with this recipe. The sambal oelek gives this soup a nice warm heat, omit if you are adverse to a little kick in the pants.



1 pound dry small green lentils rinsed and drained

2 teaspoons kosher salt (affiliate link) (divided)

2 bay leaves (divided)

1 tablespoon olive oil

5 garlic cloves, minced

3 carrots, scrubbed and shredded (I use a food processor (affiliate link), it goes really quick!)

1 large onion, chopped

2 tablespoons sambal oelek*

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

4 cups chicken stock, preferrably homemade

4 cups water

9 ounces Spanish chorizo, chopped in 1/4 inch slices

3 cups arugula (or spinach) roughly chopped

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar


In a sauce pan, bring 4 cups of water, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 bay leave to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender, about 15-20 minutes.

In a large dutch oven, over medium-high heat, add the oil and chorizo. Saute for about 3 minutes until the edges of the sausage begin to brown. Remove from the pan and set aside. 

Into the same pan, add the carrots and onions and saute for about 5 minutes, add the garlic, smoked paprika, oregano and sambal oelek and sauté for another minute or so.

Add the chicken stock, lentils (and cooking water), and last bay leaf to the mixure and bring back to the low boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes, until carrots and onions are soft. Add the arugula (or spinach) and return the chorizo to the pan, simmer another 3 minutes. Add the sherry vingar to the soup and serve.

Really delicious with some rustic, crusty bread to soak up every last drop.


Please do take care when slicing your chorizo, it is a very hard sausage, and can be difficult to cut. Be sure you knife is sharp, and take your time.

*What is Sambal Oelek? (excerpt from the kitchn)

Sambal oelek is a spicy Southeast Asian chile sauce made from hot red chile peppers, salt and sometimes vinegar. Some versions can also contain onion, lemon or lime juice, garlic, or sugar.
Sambal is an Indonesian term that refers to a sauce made with chile peppers, and can include a variety of secondary ingredients. There are a lot of different types of sambals. Oelek, which is sometimes also referred to as olek or ulek, refers to the mortar and pestle used to make this type of sambal in Indonesian kitchens.
Compared to sriracha, sambal oelek is less acidic and lacks a strong presence of vinegar, so you can add heat to a dish without impacting the overall flavor. Sambal is also a slightly thicker, slightly chunkier sauce with chile pepper seeds included throughout. It packs more of a fiery punch, and if you’re adding heat to your food, that’s what you want!

Keywords: lentil and chorizo soup, lentils, spanish chorizo, sambal oelek, sherry vinegar, gluten-free