Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lentil Soup with Sausage and Kale

It seems like ages since I made this soup. Probably because it has been. With the chill in the air coming on strong here in New England, I've been craving hearty dishes, like soups and chilis. I made a glorious chili for a tailgate we recently attended, and really wanted to tackle a soup that is equally as hearty as a chili, but that is completely different. This one definitely does the trick. It's super savory and using spicy sausage provides quite the depth of flavor when added to the lentils. Now, I've only ever made lentil soup once before, but it was a lifetime ago and my roommate and I had little weekly cooking adventures during a season where I was squatting with a few friends {but that's a story for another time and place} ~ either way, lentils are essentially a foreign  ingredient to me.

No biggie, they were actually very easy to work with. Another potential road block was that I was making this for both tt and I for the entire week, so I doubled the recipe... not realizing that my gloriously red cast iron pot that I make all my soups in {and I mean ALL of them} would not fit all of it. Fail. Luckily, I made it work using my large stock pot, although my personal preference is my "big red pot" for no real reason other than it makes me happy. Doubling the recipe led me to a few notes, but not many, and this soup was delightful... enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray {original recipe can be found here}

ingredients

1 tablespoon EVOO
1 pound hot sausage, casing removed
1 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 large  potato, peeled and chopped into small dice
1 jalapeno pepper
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
2-3 large cloves garlic, chopped or sliced
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch kale, stems removed and very thinly sliced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup white wine
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 3/4 cups lentils
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water

instructions

  1. In a soup pot or large Dutch oven, heat EVOO. Add the sausage and cook until lightly brown, breaking it apart as it cooks. 
  2. Add the onions, celery, carrots, potato, jalapeno, rosemary, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper, and cook to soften the veggies, appx 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the kale to wilt, and season with a little nutmeg. 
  4. Stir in the tomato paste for 30 seconds, then add white wine. Cook to reduce by half. 
  5. Add lentils, stock, and water and stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer the soup until the lentils are tender, about 35 minutes. 
  6. Serve immediately and use chopped celery greens, to garnish.

notes

  • Soup can be served immediately or cooled, stored, and reheated.
  • Original recipe calls for a Fresno chili, which I couldn't find, so I always swap a jalapeno if I can't find the spicy pepper I need because everything else scares me too much.
  • If doubling recipe, my recommendation would be not to double the sausage to 2 lbs, maybe 1.5. The soup became quite oily with 2 full lbs of sausage meat in it. I also used half hot sausage, and half sweet. 
  • If doubling recipe, I would recommend doing 1.5x lentils as well. 
  • If doubling recipe, will probably need additional liquid {I prefer stock, but water can be used as well} and the lentils will probably take longer than 35 mins to cook.

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