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Lecso is So Easy to Make
Lecso is traditional Hungarian quick vegetable stew and one of the best quick healthy meals you can make. It's very simple and has only three key ingredients: onions, peppers and tomatoes. It's also very healthy and refreshing, served hot during colder days or cold during warmer days.
If those three veggies and the method of stewing sound familiar to you already, it might be because it reminds you of the famous ratatouille dish only without zucchini and eggplant.
Lecso has many very similar variations all over the world, from Mexican "salsa roja" and Italian "ciambotta" to Spanish "pisto" and Turkish "saksuka".
- Prep time: 10 min
- Cook time: 30 min
- Ready in: 40 min
- Yields: Serves three people a regular soup bowl of lecso.
- 4 onions (preferably the sweet sort)
- 4 peppers (Hungarian wax or banana)
- 1 1/2 to 2 lbs of tomatoes (or one 28 oz can)
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 4 cups of water (or stock)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp of sweet Hungarian ground paprika
- slice onions and set them aside
- slice peppers and set them aside
- blanch and skin tomatoes (I usually don't do it since we don't mind eating tomato skin)
- chop tomatoes and set them aside
- heat oil in skillet and saute onions in it until tender
- add peppers and water (or stock) and stew till peppers soften
- add tomatoes, pressed garlic, salt, pepper and ground paprika
- stew until extra liquid evaporates to your liking (more or less thick)
- serve hot or cold
My practical trick
To shorten the prep time I always use slicer in stead of knife for onions and peppers. It's easier and much faster.
I Use Slicer for Lecso Recipe
Make This Quick Meal Even Quicker
This simple little slicer is my favorite for all kinds of veggies that need to be sliced fine and thin, not just in soups or stews, but in salads as well. By using this slicer here you will make the overall preparation time even shorter.
I recommend the slicer with guard like this one on the right.
Quick Healthy Meals Call for Healthy Ingredients
This lecso recipe is based on famous Hungarian peppers, but of course it can be done with similar kinds such as bell peppers or banana peppers. The point is for both peppers and tomatoes to be really ripe so that the best out of both flavors is combined into the final dish. If you're lucky enough to have a farmer's market nearby (like I am) then you will be able to make a really healthy meal.
There's no Hungarian dish without at least a bit of finest Hungarian ground paprika. Sweet or hot, it's up to you.
High Quality Ground Paprika is a Must in Lecso Recipe
I usually make the mild version of lecso so I use the sweet ground paprika. I know, I carry a Hungarian last name so that doesn't feel right, but hey, you can make your own lecso as spicy as you like, I don't mind :)
It's not a bad idea to have both sweet and hot paprika in your kitchen cabinet. That way you can try both versions of the same recipe.