Sunday, February 8, 2009

Lentil Sausage Soup

This is one of those soups that cooks a long time on the stove and makes your house smell really inviting. This was my first time cooking or eating lentils and I have to say I'm a fan. This soup has lots of flavor and is a very hearty meal. I made a few substitutions as noted below. We thought this soup was delicious. This makes a huge batch, so you will definitely have leftovers to freeze. It does need to be thinned out with water or broth the next day as the lentils tend to soak up the remaining liquid.

Lentil Sausage Soup
  • 1 pound French green lentils (recommended: du Puy)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 4 cups diced yellow onions (3 large)
  • 4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (2 leeks)-I omitted
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 large cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 cups medium diced celery (8 stalks)
  • 3 cups medium diced carrots (4 to 6 carrots)
  • 3 quarts Homemade Chicken Stock, or canned broth-I used 2 quarts Organic Beef Broth and 3 cups red wine plus 1 cup of water)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 pound kielbasa, cut in 1/2 lengthwise and sliced 1/3-inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons dry red wine or red wine vinegar
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.

In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onions, leeks, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent and tender. Add the celery and carrots and saute for another 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, and drained lentils, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, or until the lentils are cooked through and tender. Check the seasonings. Add the kielbasa and red wine and simmer until the kielbasa is hot. Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.

Source: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa in Paris, Clarkson Potter, 2004.

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