Wednesday, October 29, 2008

El Potaje de Lentejas de Miriam (Lentil Soup)

Miriam, our very first teacher - the one who taught us how to make croquetas back in February - once again shared her culinary skills with us. This time we made Potaje de Lentejas – which was perfect for Saturday’s stormy weather.

The fact that Miriam was the one who taught us how to make this was inevitable, as she is in charge every New Year’s Eve for making lentil soup in order to observe the New Year’s tradition – eating lentil soup on New Year’s Eve will bring you prosperity the following year. So amidst all the other “traditions”, the lentil soup is a mainstay.

This time we met at her daughter’s house and then followed the “class” by having a great dinner – Miriam’s sister made a pork loin. (By the way, that same sister, her name is Nora, will be teaching us how to make Turkey Fricassee some time next year.) Accompanied by some hearty red wine, a salad and good friends, it was delicious!

We had a great time as always, sharing stories of Miriam and her sisters’ travels all over the world, reminiscing about early days in Miami, and just laughing and being silly. It was a wonderful afternoon.


14 oz. bag of lentils
1 medium green pepper - chunked
8 cups of water
1 medium onion – minced
5 cloves of garlic - minced
2 carrots – peeled and sliced
1 packet or cube of chicken bouillon
1 packet of Sazon Goya – the one with Coriander and Annatto (this can be replaced with any Latin seasoning with coriander)

1 chorizo – sliced
2 small smoked ham shanks
3 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp tomato sauce
Salt to taste


This recipe makes approximately 10 hearty servings.
  1. Sort through the dry lentils to remove foreign objects.
  2. Rinse the lentils.
  3. Add lentils and peppers to the water.
  4. Mince the onions and garlic together and add paste to the lentils.
  5. Add everything except the salt to the lentils and water.
  6. Set on high until it comes to a boil.
  7. Taste the liquid and add salt to taste.
  8. Set the temperature to Medium-Low. Cover and cook for 30-40 minutes.
  • NOTE: Some lentils absorb more water then others and you may want to add more water to get it to your preferred consistency as some like it soupier than others.
  1. Once it has cooked and thickened, take out the ham shanks.
  1. Strip the meat, shred it and put back into the soup. Stir well.
  • NOTE: The green peppers are cut into chunks so they can be removed if desired. Their flavor may overpower the lentils if the soup is stored for later use.
  1. Take off heat.

  • NOTE: The longer the soup sits, the more it will thicken.

  • Serve as soup or over rice.

  • ¡Buen provecho!


    Nathan said...

    Looks delicious, now I know what I can do with all the leftover packets of Goya Sazon Culantro con Achiote I used to make some "Arroz Con Gandules"

    Erik said...

    I love Chorizo sausage; it adds so much flavor to everything!

    Nathan said...

    Wow I just made your Potaje de Lentejas it is SOOO GOOD one of the BEST Potaje de Lentejas I have ever had it has such a rich smokey Spanish flavor from the Chorizos being boiled in it as well as the ham shanks. I LOVE IT... Miriam's Potaje de Lentejas is better than my Grandmas ha ha

    (well both are different styles but I love Miriam's more my grandmothers is simple it's just pork or beef stew meat, salt, cumin, and she the sofrito towards the last 20 minutes of cooking she sautee's the onion, bell pepper, and garlic throws it in, adds chunks of Calabaza and Papa and that's it VERY simple, tasty but Miriam's man it's special :)

    It's also better than the one from Delicias de la Mesa - Manual de Cocina y Repostería" written by " Miss María Antonieta Reyes Gavilán and Moenck in 1925 Havana, Cuba. Which I have in my blog posted:

    Hilda said...

    Nathan - We're glad you liked it. Your compliments have been passed on to Miriam, I'm sure she'll be thrilled!

    Keep checking in, Miriam will be contributing more in the future...

    cy said...

    Hi, this looks wonderful! I would love to try this out but I was wondering if there is some other substitute for the pork based meat in the recipe. Is there such a thing as turkey chorizo? Thanks again!

    Dazy said...

    Can I seriously come over for dinner soon? ...... your recipe sounds so yummy.....

    Elizabeth said...

    Loved the recipe! I substituted some Canadian bacon for the ham hocks and added a bit of cumin to add smokiness. Delicious! Tastes just like my mother's. :D

    Veronica S said...

    just made this last night for my whole family. we have not had lentejas since my grandmother died in 2001! thank you for this wonderful recipie which was just like hers!!! tasted amazing and brought back memories of my grandparents! thank you so much! keep posting!

    Anonymous said...

    Que rico igualito al que hace mi tía en Miami!

    Angie Torres said...

    My family loved it!!!! Thank you for this delicious recipe.

    Jacqueline Hand said...

    Miriam, muchas gracias por tan deliciosa Receta, mi familia quedo encantada.

    Jorge Denys said...

    Really liked the recipe, afterwards we blended it for my daughter as baby food, she loved it too.