Classic Spanish flavors of robust smoked paprika, vegan chorizo, and sofrito come together to create this delicious Vegan Lentil Stew. It's the perfect meal for a family dinner or make ahead meal to eat all week. It just takes a short list of ingredients and about 45 minutes to make.
I gotta say, I find myself gravitating to lentils a lot these past few weeks. They are just so versatile and full of protein, which makes them a fabulous choice in plant based cooking.
Not to mention, it has been cold outside lately and when it's cold I want a warm bowl of comforting soup or stew to fill my tummy. So last night, I made my Spanish vegan lentil stew that is loved by many.
People love it because it's full of warm authentic Spanish flavor, filling, super healthy, and a one pot meal that is easy to make. You can't beat that! It also freezes really well and is the perfect family dinner. Just add a nice loaf of fresh bread and you have a meal.
What Are Classic Spanish Flavors?
When we talk of classic Spanish flavors, saffron is the first thing that normally comes to mind for most people. Yet, Spanish cuisine is full of a variety of herbs and spices that give the dishes their world loved flavor profile. These spices include paprika, most notably smoked paprika, along with garlic, bay leaves, cayenne, oregano, rosemary, and parsley.
And alongside these herbs and spices, olive oil, tomatoes, cured meats, cheeses, and fresh baked breads are important ingredients in Spanish cooking.
In fact, Spain is the top producer of olive oil in the world! So it's no surprise that like Italian food, olive oil is one of the core ingredients in Spanish cooking. And quality matters. It's important to cook with a decent olive oil to produce the best flavor.
As for chorizo, we plant based eaters are fortunate to have soyrizo in our corner as a great substitute. Vegan soyrizo does a great job of adding the depth that chorizo provides to Spanish dishes without the meat.
This lentil stew requires a list of simple and easy to find ingredients.
You can use either brown or green lentils for this recipe. Green lentils sometimes take a bit longer to cook, but that will not affect the outcome of the dish.
Any type of soyrizo will work perfectly. And if you are trying to go soy-free just omit the soyrizo completely. This will change the flavor of the finished dish, but still produce a delicious vegan lentil stew. I've made this recipe many times without soyrizo.
However, you do have to use smoked paprika to achieve the true Spanish flavor profile. Standard paprika simply won't do the job in this case.
How to Make Spanish Vegan Lentil Stew
This one pot meal is super easy to make!
First you saute the onion, garlic, and veggies in olive oil for a few minutes in big a pot. Then you add the lentils along with all the other ingredients. Now, bring the mixture to a boil. Then turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 to 45 minutes until your lentils are nice and tender.
To finish, top the lentil stew with some fresh chopped parsley and serve with fresh baked bread or a side of rice.
This recipe makes enough to serve 6 people. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 6 days or in the freeze for up to 3 months.
You should make this Spanish Vegan Lentil Stew because it's...
- A classic Spanish dish loved by all
- Authentic in flavor while still being meat free
- Layered in spices with smoked paprika as the star
- The perfect comforting family meal
- High in protein
- Easy to make and freezes well
I hope you love this recipe! Lentils make some of the most amazing soups and stews. Here's to this delicious one making your life easier and feeding your family.
If you try this recipe please let me know how it turns out by leaving a comment and rating. You can also hashtag #danceswithknives with a photo of your creation on Instagram where you can find me @dances_with_knives.
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Spanish Vegan Lentil Stew with Soyrizo
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup onion, chopped (½ large onion)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups carrots, sliced medium thickness (about 3 carrots)
- ½ cup celery, diced (about 1-2 celery stalks)
- ½ cup red bell pepper, diced (about 1 small red bell pepper)
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 7 oz soyrizo
- 1 ½ cup brown lentils
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 4 to 6 cups vegetable stock or water
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- Fresh chopped parsley
- In a big pot add the olive oil, onion and garlic. Then turn the heat on to medium high and cook for about 1 minute. Do not get any color on the onion and garlic. You just want them to soften up a bit.
- Add the carrots, celery, and red bell pepper to the pot. Continue to cook over medium high for 4-5 minutes stirring occasionally. Again, you just want the vegetables to soften up a bit.
- Add the soyrizo, oregano, and smoked paprika. Cook for one more minute.
- Add the lentils, bay leaf, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and 4 cups of the vegetable stock or water. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down and simmer with the lid cracked for 30-45 minutes until the lentils are tender. Add additional vegetable stock or water as needed to maintain a stew consistency. If you prefer softer lentils it could take 40 to 50 minutes of cooking. The cooking time is also dependent on the age of your lentils.
- Once the lentils are to your desired softness, taste and season with salt if needed. If you used vegetable stock there is a good chance that you will not need much if any salt. You can also add the cayenne pepper at this time if you want added spice.
- To serve, top with fresh chopped parsley. The stew goes fantastic with fresh bread or rice. Enjoy!