Lately I have felt as though Joey and I have fallen into a bit of a food rut. I'm still cooking just as much as I normally do, but I'm cooking with the same ingredients over and over. So I set out to find some new ingredients and inspiration, and I happened upon lentils. I used to eat them a lot growing up as a vegetarian, but it had been years since I had eaten them, and I've never made them. I browsed some cookbooks and blogs, and happened upon Ina Garten's Lentil Vegetable Soup. And then, I happened upon Tara's version, which uses sausage.
Quite honestly, I was a little nervous to serve lentils to Joey. He will usually eat pretty much anything I put in front of him, but I was worried he would turn his nose up at lentils. Well, he proclaimed as he ate that he really likes lentils, and that I should cook with them more often. Success!!
Tara uses kielbasa in her version, but I opted for Turkey Italian Sausage. I just though that would be a nice flavor profile, and I had some to use up anyway. I made this during our recent Snowpocalypse, and it was a perfect dinner for a cold and snowy night.
Just be forewarned: this makes a LOT of soup. I halved the recipe, and we still had several days worth of leftovers.
Sausage and Lentil Soup
adapted from Smells Like Home, originally from Ina Garten, Barefoot in Paris
- 1 pound French green lentils
- 2 pounds Italian sausage, sliced 1/2-1 inch thick
- 4 cups chopped yellow onion (3 large)
- 4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic (3-4 cloves)
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling on top
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 cups medium-diced celery (8 stalks)
- 3 cups medium-diced carrots (4-6 carrots)
- 3 quarts chicken stock
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoons red wine
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
In a large stockpot over medium heat, brown the sausage 2-3 minutes per side. Set aside on a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
Saute the onions, leeks, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are translucent and very tender. Add the celery and carrots and saute for another 10 minutes.
Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, lentils, and sausage. Cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, until the lentils are cooked through.
Adjust the seasonings if necessary, and add the red wine. Serve hot, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.