This is for my friend, la argentina en Noruega, Aymará! She asked for my recipe for guiso de lentejas, or lentil stew. It is really quite simple to make, and delicious to eat in the winter. Here in Argentina, lentil stew is usually made with some pancetta and some chorizo, but mine is vegetarian (vegan, actually) and I try to add some extra flavor through spices. This version has more vegetables than most, but I like the taste of all the vegetables mixed together. Some people add zucchini too, so that is an option.
- 200 grams lentils (I usually precook them for 20 minutes but it is probably not necessary)
- 1/2 a red or green pepper
- 1 onion
- Some celery
- 3 carrots, one finely chopped, two chopped in cubes
- 3 potatoes in small cubes
- Some butternut squash in cubes
- A vegetable bouillon cube
- Salt, pepper, garlic if you like, whatever spice you use for heat – I like crushed red pepper (aji triturado in Argentina) and Tabasco sauce with Chipotle flavor
- 1 can of tomatoes, chopped (I use my kitchen scissors to cut them up)
- Quite a lot of water
Finely chop the onion, the celery, the pepper and one of the carrots. Sauté these for 5 to 10 minute in some olive oil. Add the lentils, either already cooked or still dry. Add crushed red pepper. Give them a little fry and add some water. Then, add the other vegetables, the can of tomatoes, more water, and the bouillon cube. Make sure there is plenty of water covering all the vegetables.
Let the stew cook until all the vegetables are soft. I let mine cook for at least an hour, often more. The butternut squash disintegrates more than the potatoes and carrots and creates a nice flavor and thickness to the dish. And it is definitely a stew and not a soup – I make it very thick and hearty. Add salt, pepper, other spices if you like, and make sure it tastes to your lighting. Enjoy with fresh bread!