Lentil Sausage Soup

Ok, I’m going to tell you something about me that you can’t tell anyone who lives in California: I like hot dogs.

And I have a couple of packs of them in the freezer.

So I was excited when I saw this recipe from Ina Garten on a cold Sunday night, because it was a super-healthy and flavorful looking soup, mostly. Last time I looked I could not find sausage or hot dogs on any healthiest foods list, but I think life is all about balance so if you have a bunch of healthy, yummy ingredients in your recipe they should balance out the indulgent things. This is how I end up eating fruit-flavored ice creams. (If you follow  my Facebook page, you’ll know that I recently made ice cream for the first time, and am sort of wishing that my eyes were never opened to what’s actually in it.)

This soup is a lot yummier than it looks….and while it’s not the most colorful soup ever, it’s a nice, hearty meal for a winter’s eve.

I didn’t take any pictures of the “making of” this time, sorry. I was too preoccupied with my hair. Here’s what’s going on with it:

  • I’ve been afraid to get it cut again for fear of disrupting my Tokyo haircut. That haircut is magical — completely no-maintenance and for the first time ever I actually kind of have volume. Next time you see Crystal Gayle, you’ll do a double-take and then realize that it’s just me.
  • I have actually been curling my hair to make it look shorter. This has resulted in a co-worker calling me San-do-ra in the office. It makes me look like I’m ready to go out on the town…in a 1950s kind of way.
Curled hair portrait, courtesy of photographer age 9, via Instagram

Anyway, it’s fun to mix it up every once in a while. Apologies for going on about it. There aren’t many women at the office and sometimes I just want to talk about my hair.

Back to the recipe. When I made it I substituted hot dogs for kielbasa, just because I had them. Make up a batch and enjoy it for a few days!

LENTIL SAUSAGE SOUP (from Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten)

Ingredients

  • 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)
  • 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, recipe follows, or canned broth
  • 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
Preparation

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.

Makes 8-10 servings.

HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK

Ingredients

  • 3 (5-pound) chickens
  • 3 large onions, unpeeled and quartered
  • 6 carrots, unpeeled and halved
  • 4 celery stalks with leaves, cut in thirds
  • 4 parsnips, unpeeled and cut in 1/2, optional
  • 20 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 15 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 20 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in 1/2 crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
Preparation

Place the chickens, onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, salt, and peppercorns in a 16 to 20-quart stockpot with 7 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Skim the surface as needed. Simmer uncovered for 4 hours. Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander, discarding the chicken and vegetables, and chill. Discard the hardened fat, and then pack the broth in quart containers.

 

Yield: 6 quarts

 

2 Comments

  • February 5, 2013 - 12:52 PM | Permalink

    I love your hair curled! And short! And long. You rock it, all! This soup sounds grrreat — i don’t care for hot dogs (my husband is the hot-dog lover in our house), but I love sausage of any kind! Yumm. LOVE that you included homemade stock instructions! You are good at life!

    • February 8, 2013 - 4:11 PM | Permalink

      Aw, thanks Sophie! I love hot dogs AND sausage…so this is a good meal for me. I always have homemade stock on hand…I could never remember to stock it while shopping!

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