Smoky chorizo sausage and tender green lentils mingle in a savory broth, making this comforting Lentil and Chorizo soup a cozy, filling favorite! It’s easy to make and loaded with flavor.
A Savory, Satisfying Lentil Soup Recipe
When was the last time you made lentil soup? It’s one of those recipes that I adore, and when the house is full of the fragrance of simmering lentils plus chorizo sausage, you know it’s going to be a good-food night. 🍴
This soup totally deserves a spot in your monthly menu rotation. Served as-is, or with a few healthy sides, lentil and chorizo soup makes a filling, comforting family meal.
You can make all kinds of lentil soups, with flavor profiles from Middle Eastern to Midwestern! This easy Spanish-style recipe features spicy chorizo, a few fresh vegetables, and some simple herbs and spices. It’s terrific with a glass of your favorite red wine and some crusty bread for dunking.
Feeling hungry yet? Me too!
What Is Lentil Soup Made Of?
To make this recipe, you’ll a few links of chorizo, some lentils, and a few basic pantry and fridge items like carrots, onion, and tomato paste. Here’s the full list, in detail:
- Boiling Water: For soaking the lentils.
- Lentils: Dry, green lentils are usually available next to the dry beans in most grocery stores.
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive Oil and Butter: For sauteing the ingredients before you simmer them.
- Chorizo: About 2 to 3 links, pricked with a fork here and there.
- Veggies: Chop up an onion and cut some carrots into small pieces.
- Parsley: Chopped fresh parsley is great, or you can use dried.
- Garlic: Again, I like to use fresh garlic for this recipe, but you can definitely substitute garlic powder in a pinch.
- Paprika: Use smoked paprika for an extra smoky taste, or sweet paprika if you prefer.
- Tomato Paste: Make sure to use tomato paste, not sauce! Paste is much more concentrated than sauce, making the taste much more intense and hearty.
- Bay Leaves
- Chicken Broth: Vegetable broth would also be fine, or you could use bone broth, stock, etc.
- Rice Wine Vinegar: Or sherry vinegar.
- Toasted Baguette Slices: For serving, optional.
Do Lentils Need to Be Soaked Before Making Soup?
Technically, lentils are small enough that they don’t have to be softened and soaked like beans. You can cook them right in your soup broth without soaking at all, and they’ll still cook up soft and tender in the same amount of time (roughly). That said, a lot of cooks prefer to soak lentils before cooking, in order to make them easier to digest. Some say that soaking your lentils makes the nutrients easier for your body to absorb. I soak my lentils for half an hour before cooking, but you can omit that step if you prefer.
Does Chorizo Taste Like Pepperoni?
Yes, chorizo and pepperoni are somewhat similar. Both are highly seasoned and somewhat dry, and both are typically made with pork. However, chorizo is usually milder and earthier in taste, with a smokiness that goes beautifully with lentils.
Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions
Lentil and chorizo soup is easy to make, but keep in mind that it does take a little bit of time; 30 minutes to soak the lentils, and then another 30 to 40 minutes for simmering soup. I think this is the perfect recipe for a laid back evening.
- Pre-Cook the Lentils. First of all, let’s get those lentils soaking. You’ll need a big, heat-proof container and four cups of boiling water. Place the lentils in the container, cover them with the water, and set them aside for half an hour. Once they’re done soaking, drain off all the water.
- Cook the Chorizo. When the lentils are almost done soaking, you can start making the soup. Heat up the olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy soup pot, and add the chorizo sausage links. Let them cook for about 6 minutes, turning them once or twice so that they brown on all sides. Set them aside on a clean plate.
- Cook the Veggies, Aromatics, and Seasonings. In the same pot, melt the butter and saute the onion and carrots for a few minutes, to soften. Stir in the parsley and the garlic, and cook those for 20 seconds, before sprinkling in the paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Add the Tomato Paste, Bay Leaves, and Broth. Stir the tomato paste into the veggie mixture, and let it all cook together for about a minute. Add the bay leaves, pour in the chicken broth, and scrape the bottom of the pot gently with a spoon, to loosen and mix in any browned bits stuck to the pot.
- Add the Lentils. Bring the soup to a boil, and then add the lentils. Let it return to a boil while you slice up the chorizo and drop that into the pot as well, carefully to avoid splashing the hot soup. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and let it cook for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the lentils are nice and tender.
- Finish the Soup. Stir in your rice wine vinegar, and take the soup off of the heat. Taste for seasonings, adding more salt and/or pepper if needed. Let the soup stand for a few minutes before you serve it with toasted baguette slices.
These are a few helpful hints for making out-of-this-world, knock-your-socks-off lentil and chorizo soup. Take some time to read through them before you start cooking, and have a wonderful meal, my friends!
- Change It Up: There are so many amazing ways to make lentil soup, and they all seem to play well together! You can add almost anything to this recipe, from kale to cubed ham to extra veggies (think zucchini, green beans, fresh tomatoes, leeks…). Take advantage of in-season produce, or save some leftovers from going unused.
- Lentil Options: You can also make this recipe using other types of lentils. Red lentils tend to fall apart a little more, while French lentils will hold their shape thanks to their slightly thicker skin. Brown lentils usually cook up about the same as green.
- Excess Oil: If you notice excess oil or grease from the chorizo floating on the top of your soup, you can absorb it easily by gently laying a slice of bread or a clean paper towel on the grease, and then lifting it away. It’s also fine to leave it, if you prefer.
What to Serve with Lentil and Chorizo Soup
This soup is wonderful by the bowl, without any need for side dishes, but it’s still nice to add variety and nutrition to the menu with a fun side dish or two. These would all be great choices, but they’re just the beginning!
- Cornbread: Almost any crusty or chewy bread would be scrumptious with this soup, and baguette slices are usually my go-to. However, cornbread adds its own special flair. This Light Skillet Cornbread would be a great option!
- Rice: Everyone loves beans and rice – lentils and rice have that same vibe. You can serve this easy soup over rice for a super-hearty meal that’ll leave everyone feeling full and happy. Try my Fluffy Instant Pot Jasmine Rice tutorial for the easiest, most fragrant rice ever.
- A Simple Salad: Whether you go with a colorful garden salad, a streamlined Caesar, or this cool, crisp, Creamy Cucumber Salad, you can’t go wrong!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- To store leftover lentil and chorizo soup, all you have to do is cool it down and then place it in an airtight container or jar. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- To reheat, just pour the desired amount in a saucepan and heat it on the stovetop until it simmers gently. Remove from the heat, and serve.
Can I Freeze This?
- Yes, lentil and chorizo soup can be packed into freezer bags or containers and frozen for 4 months. Make sure to cool the soup before you freeze it!
Lentil and Chorizo Soup
- 4 cups boiling water
- 2 cups dry green lentils
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1.5 pounds chorizo sausage, about 2 to 3 links, pricked with a fork at several spots
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 large carrots, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 to 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 to 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
- toasted baguette slices, optional, for serving
- Place lentils in a large heat-proof container or a large glass mixing bowl, and pour 4 cups boiling water over the lentils; set aside for 30 minutes. Then drain.
- Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven set over medium-high heat.
- Add the sausages to the hot oil and cook for 6 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove from pot and transfer to a plate.
- To the pot, add the butter to melt.
- Stir in the chopped onion and carrots; reduce heat to medium and cook for 6 minutes, or until beginning to soften.
- Stir in the chopped parsley and garlic; cook for 15 seconds.
- Season with paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a minute.
- Add in the bay leaves and chicken broth; bring to a boil.
- Add the lentils; bring to a boil.
- Slice chorizo into ¼-inch slices; add to the pot.
- Reduce heat to a steady simmer; cover slightly and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, or until lentils are tender.
- Stir in rice wine vinegar.
- Taste for salt and pepper; adjust accordingly.
- Remove from heat and let it stand for a few minutes.
- Ladle into bowls and serve with toasted bread slices.
- Soaking Lentils: Soaking lentils is not a must, but it is a good practice for better nutrient absorption, making them easier to digest.
- Red or Green Lentils: Red lentils cook faster and they dissolve as they cook, making a smoother and thicker soup. Green (and brown) lentils take a little longer to cook, but they hold their shape and add more texture to soups.
- Chorizo Substitutes: In most cases, any sausage can be substituted for the chorizo. I sometimes like to use Italian Pork Sausage, and other times I’ve used Andouille sausage.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.