Lentils have been having a fair bit of F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out) recently, so I responded to their texts/calls/letters/telegrams and made one my favourite lentil-y meals in the history of the world, ever.

Spanish cuisine is always so good in bringing out the flavours in ingredients, and this is something which I have tried to do in this dish. Spanish food also reminds me almost entirely of my mum and step-dad, who took us on a road trip around Andalucia when my sister and I were in our early teens, roaming around Seville, Granada, Rhonda and finally Arcos, it was a trip full of incredible landscapes and food. 549484_10151307003507506_267784599_n

The only down side being that, because I was in my early teens, I was going through a wannabe-grunge phase at the time, which involved a lot of bright and baggy clothes from Tammy Girl and being intentionally moody (groan), despite actually having one of the best trips I’ve been on to this day and loving every minute of it. Anyway, when we got back from our trip to Southern Spain, it was late in the evening but we were all so happy from the trip, that we sat around our kitchen, my sister and I on the counters, my mum on the little stool while my step-dad sat on the Mediterranean-blue wooden high chair. My mum cracked out some olives from our travels, put on some Spanish Guitar music and we talked for ages, one of those seemingly normal evenings which evolved into a tradition we now call a ‘Kitchen Party’. Nowadays, they have a glass of Manzanilla and olives as an apรฉro, Bob on the blue chair, my mum happily darts around the kitchen, while guitar music plays in the background, before sitting down to a Paella or Albondigas.

JUST TELL US WHAT YOU BLOODY COOKED, CAT! Right, sorry, here’s my red lentil and chorizo soup which served us well during the coldest week of winter, all organic ingredients comme d’habitude

Ingredients (Serves 2):
1/2 firm chorizo, finely sliced
1/2 large red chilli, finely chopped
250g red lentils
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
Generous handful of chopped basil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 diced red onion
450g chopped tomatoes
550ml home-made vegetable stock
2 carrots, sliced
1tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the garlic, chilli and onion until the onions soften.
Add the chorizo and the carrots and let them get fully heated with the chilli, onion and garlic.
Fully mix in the tomatoes, then add the lentils and vegetable stock.
Bind the herbs together and gently stir them in.
Slightly lower the heat and cover for 35-40 minutes until the lentils have softened and look like they do in the picture, stirring regularly.
Towards the end of the dish, add the basil.
Add a generous helping of pepper, I didn’t add salt as the chorizo is so packed with flavour it didn’t need it.
Serve in warmed bowls.

NB: I served this dish with roasted broccoli which I put in the oven around the 25-minute mark, a tip from a friend which was SO good, I’m going to give it its own blog post.

I hope this warms your ears and your toes as it did ours.