There are armfuls of spinach (much of which has been bountifully, if unintentionally shared with the local slugs) in my parents’ vegetable patch and what’s more, there are many ice cream tubs labelled ‘chicken stock’ in the freezer. Call me old-fashioned, but I like a hot lunch and when I am fortunate enough to be writing in Suffolk, I often make one (see previous posts for evidence). Mum slightly disapproves of this practice for various reasons: 1) concern over my productivity, and 2) the view that such effort be reserved for supper.
In my defence, this did not take long to produce and I worked as it bubbled away. We also ate it the next day for lunch, and there is still more left over. Thankfully, mum did approve of its flavour.
When cooking with dried lentils or dried beans, it is important not to add salt until they are at least ¾ cooked, because the salt makes the skins tough or worse can prevent them from cooking.
around 5 inches of firm cooking chorizo, cut into small cubes (you could sub bacon and a teaspoon of smoked paprika)
1 tin, chopped tomatoes
1 onion, diced finely
3 garlic cloves, cut up small
100g orange lentils
large colander of spinach, chopped roughly and tough stalks removed
2 teaspoons of harissa paste (from ‘foreign’ section of supermarket, or homemade, or can be left out – not so important as an ingredient)
1 tablespoon, tomato puree
pinch of chilli flakes
2 bay leaves
½ litre of chicken stock
½ litre, water (or all water if you’ve no stock, it doesn’t really matter)
How To Make:
In 2 tablespoons of olive oil, soften the onion with the bay leaves. Cook on a medium heat, not allowing them to brown for 10 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes, then add the chorizo and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the tin of tomatoes, the Harissa and the chilli flakes. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the lentils. Stir well. Add the hot stock and water, or just water. Cool for 40 minutes so that it is just bubbling. 5 minutes before the end, add the spinach and put the lid on to steam, then stir in. Do not season at all with salt until the end, at which point, taste as you season.
Bread, butter and a glass of water.