Lentil and Chorizo Soup
- 3 to 4 dried ancho chiles, wiped clean, stemmed and seeded
- 1 cup water
- 4 thick slices bacon, cut into strips 1-inch long x 1/8-inch wide
- 9 ounces chorizo sausage, removed from casings and crumbled
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 10 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 cups brown lentils, washed and picked over
- 3 quarts chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery ribs, washed and diced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 bunch parsley, leaves only, chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro, leaves only, chopped
- Lime wedges
Toast the chiles in a dry, cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until brown all over; they will soften, bubble and release their aroma .Place the chiles in a saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Transfer the chiles with their water to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Reserve.
Fry the bacon in large heavy stockpot over medium-high heat, about 4 minutes. Stir in the chorizo and saute 3 minutes longer, or until browned. Spoon out excess fat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, unti1 golden. Then stir in the garlic and cook for a few minutes to release its aroma. Add the lentils and reserved chile puree and saute an additional minute.
Pour in the stock or water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes, occasionally skimming and removing the fat from the top. Stir in the carrots, celery, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat, covered, for about 40 minutes, skimming and discarding the fat from the top. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and cilantro and serve hot, with the lime wedges if desired.
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