Tuesday, June 12, 2012

lentil soup!

Last weekend, I made lentil soup!  For several days, I'd been thinking about it, for some reason. Do you ever get an idea in your head, and then not be able to focus on anything else until you've done that? No? Just me? Oh dear...  ;)   Well, this time, it was lentil soup. I found a recipe that sounded terrific, and my decision was made for me. I went out to get the things I'd need, though some of them I already had. Apparently I had thought about making this earlier, because there were two unopened bags of lentils in my pantry! 

The recipe called for chopped onions, celery, and shredded carrots. I admit, I don't like onions much- I like them cooked in things, but not on their own, and NOT raw! I found this Mirepoix at Trader Joe's, which was a container with chopped carrots, onions, and celery, and the perfect amount of each! The best part? I think it was $2.49, which is less than it would have been if I had bought all three individually! 

As I went to open this package of sausage, I realized that its best buy date was well past the date I was cooking with it. The package was still sealed, but had been in the fridge, not freezer, so I was hesitant to use it. I had some kielbasa in the freezer, so I used that instead. 

First up, crumble the kielbasa in the bottom of a pot, with some olive oil. Brown it up, and once it has cooked, remove from the pan.

Add the veggies to the pan, let them cook through, stirring as needed. Add minced garlic. The recipe I used called for cumin and red chili flakes. As I was cooking, I realized I was out of both. Oooops. I used black pepper and maybe something else. Now I don't remember, hehe! 

Add the kielbasa (or sausage!) back to the pot, and add the chicken stock. After rinsing the lentils, add those to the pot too. 

Let the pot simmer at low, uncovered, for about 45 minutes and soon, your lentil soup will look like this-

Pour yourself a glass of wine, butter a piece of bread or two, and add a generous sprinkle of parmesan cheese to your bowl of lentil soup, and then sit back and enjoy a really delicious dinner!


Spicy Chicken Sausage and Lentil Soup
makes a big pot of soup.  serves 8
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound spicy chicken sausage, uncased
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
3 celery stalks, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
2 cups uncooked French lentils, rinsed
8 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese, olive oil, and bread to serve
In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm olive oil.  Add the uncased chicken sausage and cook, breaking up with a spatula as it cooks.  Sausage should finish cooking in small chunks.  Remove from pan.
Add a touch more olive oil if necessary.  Add onions, celery, and carrots.  Cook until the onions are transluscent, about five to seven minutes.  Stir occasionally.  
Add the garlic, cumin, and chili flakes, and cook for one minute more.
Add the sausage back to the pan.  Stir to incorporate.  Add the lentils and chicken stock.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup, uncovered, until the lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.
Serve soup with a generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, and good crusty bread.  Soup will last, in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to 5 days.  Soup also freezes well.

I don't have eight people living in my house, but I had enough to last me most of the week! Yes, I ate the same thing for dinner four nights in a row...what of it?! This wasn't a bad thing! Steve was away last week, so it was just me. You could certainly skip the sausage if you are not a meat eater, or add spices for variety (curry, anyone?!). Lentil soup is so versatile, and so comforting, I think. Despite it being June, and so hot here in Washington, DC, I do love soup for dinner! The funniest thing about this, was that my mother made lentil soup the same night! We had no idea that the other was making it, until we spoke that night after dinner! Too funny!

What is your favorite soup to eat? To make? 

I've posted this at Scarlet Threads blog today too! Stop by there!


HayleyInWonderland said...

Oooh looks good! You're making me hungry :)

What is Kielbasa?


ms. mindless said...

Looks delish. For some reason, my lentil soups never turn out right. I think I make them too salty or something. Yours sounds yummy!

Aunt Spicy said...

Totally do that all the time, make a big batch and eat it all week! But yours looks much better than what I make!