This sopa de lentejas is loaded with amazing flavors and aromas. From the spicy chorizo to the fantastic spices, this soup is the perfect comfort food to serve at any weeknight dinner.
Sopa de Lentejas is a comforting and rich soup made of lentils, vegetables, and tomato sauce. This lentil soup is enriched with the addition of Mexican chorizo, a spicy and flavorful sausage.
Sopas are popular in Mexico, they’re usually served as a starter or as a main dish like this sopa de tortilla.
Sopa de lentejas means “lentil soup”. The recipe is so cozy and bright, it features earthy and comforting flavors, from sweet vegetables to the spicy touch of chorizo, it is the kind of meal that will warm you up from the inside out!
The whole recipe can be made in one pot, it starts with sautéed onion and chorizo to make the flavorful base, then use tomato sauce and spices, and finish with fulfilling lentils and vegetables to bulk it up.
- Lentils: I used cooked brown lentils, but feel free to use any type of lentils you prefer. You can also use canned lentils.
- Chorizo: I am using my homemade chorizo for this recipe. Can’t tell you enough how easy is to make. Store-bought chorizo is fine too, just make sure is Mexican chorizo which is not the same as Spanish chorizo.
- Spices: I used powdered spices, such as garlic, pepper, cumin, and oregano.
- Chile: Use powdered chipotle peppers for a smoky touch, if you don’t have that, smoked paprika or chili powder are also good substitutes.
- Vegetables: Once you use tomatoes and onions as a base for the soup, pretty much you can add any vegetables your want. I’ve added just carrots and potatoes but think of zucchini, green beans, or celery.
How To Make Sopa de Lentejas
Cook the lentils with the method you prefer (stove, slow cooker, pressure pot, etc). I cooked mine briefly and only with just salt, so they will finish cooking with the other soup ingredients.
In a deep braising pan or a medium stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 3 minutes or until slightly translucent.
Add chorizo, set the heat to medium-low, and cook for 5 minutes while stirring constantly and breaking it with the back of a spoon.
Add the tomato sauce and the spices, and cook while stirring for 2 minutes, just the time to make the spices release their aroma and flavor the tomato sauce.
Add the lentils and the vegetables, cover all ingredients with chicken stock or water, season with salt, and bring to a boil.
Cover the pan and cook for 25-30 minutes. Adjust with salt and add more water if needed.
Now, from here you can adjust the thickness of this Mexican lentil soup by adding more water or allowing it to evaporate until your desired consistency.
Pro Tip: Use a potato masher and mash a little bit of the lentils and vegetables, this will make the soup more creamy!
- MEATLESS: During the Lent season, a meatless version of Mexican lentil soup is served. It is a simple soup made with recaudo (tomato, onion, and garlic blended) and various vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes, calabacitas (zucchini), and chayotes. Even without chorizo or other types of meat, this soup is so delicious because of the different spices that add a depth of flavor.
- YUCATAN STYLE: With bacon, Spanish chorizo, pork meat, ham, cabbage, and plantains. It’s served every Thursday, as the tradition calls.
- CHICKEN: Sear chicken for 15 minutes with a little bit of oil, then add it along with the lentils, it will need about 20 minutes to cook, so adjust the liquids accordingly.
How To Serve
You can also serve it with a dollop of Mexican crema, chopped cilantro, avocado slices, and a squeeze of lime.
Store & Reheat
Sopa de lentejas leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. We recommend glass containers as those kept better flavors and aromas.
This soup is the perfect prep meal and can be made ahead and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. I like to make a large batch, divide the soup into small containers, and then just thaw overnight in the fridge and serve the next day.
To reheat, place sopa de lentejas in a deep pan. Because the lentils will soak some moisture, just make sure to add a splash of water and heat over medium heat stirring from time to time.
What are lentejas?
Lentejas (lentils, in English) is a legume and a staple in many gastronomies around the world. In Mexico, you’ll find various dishes made with this ingredient, the most popular is a simple soup made with lentils, spices, and a light tomato sauce that is served mostly during the Lent season.
How to cook lentejas
There are many ways of cooking this legume, and depending on the type or age of the product you might need first to soak them overnight. The easiest way of cooking is just boiling them with water and salt, then using them in various recipes.
Do lentils need to be soaked?
Depends. If lentils are not too old or bad quality, you don’t really need to soak them. It is enough just to rinse them with cold water.
More Soups Recipes
Sopa de Lentejas (with chorizo)
- 3 cups cooked brown lentils (or canned lentils)
- 7 oz Mexican chorizo (homemade or store-bought)
- 1 can tomato sauce (14 oz)
- 1 small onion (chopped)
- 2 medium carrots (peeled and cut into small cubes)
- 1 large potato (peeled and cut into small cubes)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp chipotle powder (or smoked paprika)
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 1 ½ tsp oregano
- 1 small bunch of cilantro (chopped)
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 6 cups water or chicken broth
- salt (to taste)
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a stock pot. Add onions and sauté for 3 minutes or until slightly translucent.
- Add chorizo, set the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce and the spices mixture, and cook stirring for 2 minutes.
- Add the lentils, carrots, and potatoes.
- Pour in the chicken stock (or water) and bring to a boil.
- Cover and cook for about 25-30 minutes over medium-low heat, adding more water if necessary.
- Adjust with salt and allow the soup to reach your desired consistency (read notes).
- Serve warm with homemade tortillas or bolillo bread.
- 3 cups of cooked lentils are about 1 ½ cups of uncooked lentils.
- In the end, you can adjust the thickness of this soup by adding more water or allowing it to evaporate until your desired consistency. You can even use a potato masher and mash the lentils and vegetables a bit, to make the soup creamier.
Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.