Sunday, February 3, 2008

Lentil soup

I've been meaning to post this wonderful recipe for a few weeks. I made it during a brief period of wellness before I got sick again, and having it on hand while I was sick made for some easy, delicious meals. It's a slightly modified version of an Ina Garten recipe, and it's very tasty. As with so many soups, it improves with age and freezes well. A vegetarian version would also be great, without the sausage and with vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Lentil Soup

1 pound de Puy lentils (or other small green lentils)
1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
3 medium onions, diced (about 2 cups)
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 stalks celery, chopped (about 1.5 cups)
3 medium carrots, chopped (about 1.5 cups)
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 pound kielbasa, cut in half lengthwise and sliced 1/3 inch thick.
Parmigiano Reggiano, grated, for serving.

Pick over the lentils for stones. Place lentils in a large bowl and cover with 2 quarts boiling water. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, then drain.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and leeks and sauté for 10-15 minutes, until translucent and tender. Add the celery and carrots and sauté for a further 10 minutes, until tender. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin and sauté for 1-2 minutes.

Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, and drained lentils. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for 1 - 1.5 hours, or until the lentils are tender and cooked through. Check the seasonings, and add salt and pepper to taste. Add the kielbasa and simmer until the sausage is heated through. Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with Parmigiano.


Brave Sir Robin said...

Sound devine. I love lentils (and split peas, and pretty much every legume out there)

How soupy is it? I looks like it might be pretty thick ala split pea soup?

If so, I'll bet it would be great with a dollop of sour cream on top, but then, what wouldn't?

Hope your feeling better.

Anne said...

It is quite thick--one pound is a lot of lentils. But there is still plenty of broth, and the lentils remain whole (you could certainly blend the soup--perhaps prior to adding the sausage--if you prefer a smoother texture).

Confession: not a fan of sour cream. But that doesn't mean you couldn't add some if you like it. :)

I am feeling better, thanks. Ten days on antibiotics seem to have done the trick. Hope you're feeling better, too!