Spanish Lentil Stew Recipe

This lentil stew is a very simple one pot wonder that I grew up with that I make regularly and is a classic Spanish dish known as ‘potaje de lentejas‘. Due to the proximity it is a staple dish in most homes in Gibraltar too.

This is a vegetarian version (vegan actually!) of the dish, and many people make it like this because it is much healthier than the regular version which calls for chorizo and Spanish black pudding (morcilla). Instead, more garlic and smoked paprika is used to make the flavours more intense and keep the traditional flavour.

It is preferable to not use ready cooked lentils because dry green lentils only take about half and hour to cook on a medium simmer and they don’t need previous soaking either.  This recipe makes a big batch of lentil stew so it can be frozen into individual portions to have it at hand for when you don’t have time to cook. Lentils are a rich source of protein and and can be combined with rice to have all round complete protein-rich meal.

Spanish Lentil Stew Recipe
Yield: 4-6 Servings
Difficulty: Easy
Prep time:
Cooking time:
Metric
US/Cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of green lentils, dried
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 whole head of garlic (8-10 cloves)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 green pepper
  • 100 g pumpkin (or butternut squash)
  • 1 small aubergine (optional)
  • 200 g (½ tin) tomato puree or passata
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sun dried red peppers (also known as ñoras), or 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika (if using the sun dried red peppers)
  • 1 cup lentils, dried
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 whole head of garlic (8-10 cloves)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 green pepper
  • 3½ oz pumpkin (or butternut squash)
  • 1 small eggplant (optional)
  • 7 oz (½ tin) tomato puree or passata
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sun dried red peppers (also known as ñoras), or 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika (if using the sun dried red peppers)

Instructions

  1. Finely dice the onions and the garlic and gently sauté in a large pan with the olive oil.
  2. Dice the celery, carrots (can be left in chunks), green pepper, pumpkin, and aubergine, add to the onions.
  3. When the onions are soft add half a tin of tomato, a bay leaf, one cup of dry lentils and 3 cups of water.
  4. Add the sun dried red peppers and smoked paprika. If you can’t find sun dried red peppers simply add 2 tbsp of sweet smoked paprika instead.
  5. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 30 minutes until the lentils are soft.
  6. Once the lentils are cooked add a good pinch of salt to taste – it is important to add salt at the end and not at the beginning, otherwise the lentils will not soften properly.

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