24th Sep 2023 @ 10:25 am

Lentejas are a Spanish staple and perfect for the cooler months, a thick stew often served as a starter but also perfect as a substantial lunch. Here’s how to make it at home.


  • 500g lentils
  • 100g jamón serrano
  • 2 Asturiano or Gallego chorizos
  • 2 large white onions
  • 3 carrots
  • Bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil


1. Cover the lentils with plenty of water in a bowl and leave overnight.

2. Chop the onion and fry in a saucepan for a few minutes in a good glug of olive oil. Add roughly chopped garlic towards the end. Add the chopped jamón and stir for a couple of minutes.

3. Peel and chop carrots into pieces the size of the top of your thumb. Add these and the strained and rinsed lentils to the saucepan. Add water until it’s an inch (2-5 centimetres above the lentils.

4. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat, cover the pan and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Many Spanish cooks use a pressure cooker for pulses, and ten minutes should be enough for lentils.

5. Ten minutes before serving, add the chorizos.

6. Remove the chorizos and slice them on a plate just before serving, then add to the pot again. Serve immediately.


There are a thousand variations on this dish. If you really want to go Spanish, use salted tocino (pure pork fat), washed and chopped, instead of jamón. The lumps of melt-in-the-mouth fat are delicious, but not to everyone’s taste. Morcillas (blood sausages) are also a popular addition and served whole.

A vegetarian version, called “widow’s lentils” is also widespread. Cut out meat altogether for this.

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