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Hungarian Tidbits

Spicy Lentil Soup – Kolbászos Lencseleves

A hearty stew to feed a family. The smoked bacon lardons and spicy sausage give so much good wholesome flavour. This one is pretty speedy to make as I used tinned cooked lentils, all was ready to serve in about 20 minutes.

I cook lentils in various shapes or forms all through the year as they, are a healthy staple, this one is my Hungarian one I made on New Years Day and you may already know why. Lentils are often eaten on the first day of the year in Hungary, to bring money and prosperity in the new year. It’s just something my grandparents and my parents did with a smile on their face in the name of tradition. I do feel a nagging urge to have lentils at new years day and I try to fit it in most years, just like they did.

Ingredients – for 6 persons

  • 100 g (3.5 oz) smoked bacon lardon, diced
  • 200 g (7 oz) Hungarian kolbász or chorizo sausage – sliced
  • 2 x 400 g tins of cooked green lentils
  • 1 medium onion – finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic – minced or finely chopped
  • 1 chilli pepper – add more if like it more spicy
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1-2 medium potato diced
  • 1 ripe red tomato diced or 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt – or to taste
  • 1 litre (4 cups) water
  • freshly milled black pepper
  • sour cream, fresh parsley to serve – optional


  1. Start off the bacon lardons on a splash of oil on a low-moderate heat, cook and melt some of the fat
  2. Add the finely chopped onion stir until looks cooked but not browned
  3. Drop in the minced garlic too
  4. Sprinkle in a tablespoon of plain flour evenly, stir vigorously, sprinkle in a teaspoon of paprika powder, mix then gradually pour in the 1 litre of cold water, still stirring, avoid lumps forming from the flour
  5. Sprinkle in about a teaspoon of salt
  6. Drop in the prepared carrots and potatoes, tomato or tomato paste,  chopped chilly and bring to simmering point
  7. Meanwhile drain the lentils, slice the chorizo and add these into the soup when the vegetables are nearly cooked
  8. Bring to the boil and cook on steady heat for about 10 minutes, making sure the sausage is cooked and the lentils are hot throughout
  9. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed
  10. Serve with black pepper, sour cream, parsley and fresh bread on the side

Note: No tins just good old dried lentils? – Use about 2 cups of washed green lentils, cook in the water with the lardons, onion and paprika. When the lentils are just tender start adding the rest of the ingredients, potatoes, carrots tomato until nearly cooked, followed by the sliced sausage. May need to check the water and top up from time to time if using dry lentils.

I have another recipe here already, a less spicy and retro 80’s Lentil soup with frankfurters.

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