Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Lentil Sausage Soup... it's what's for dinner

In my collection of cookbooks, a few are my absolutely favorite. Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten is one my all time favorites. I think it's because I share Ina's love of peasant food. For me, it's the essence of home cooking. It's so creative and basic and comforting.

Perhaps it's just a January thing or maybe it's because it's so cold outside, but my desire to make a pot of soup was so strong that I went straight to my Barefoot Contessa cookbooks to find just, the right recipe. For me, the Lentil Sausage Soup in Barefoot in Paris is exactly the soup for a cold, January night. It's the kind of soup my French Grandfather would cook for us when we were kids.  Did I mention that it was Monday when I made this? What could be better to end a cold, January Monday, but with a bowl of hot soup and a baguette.

I was out of cumin and only had canned broth, so I had to make a few accommodations, but it was the perfect way to end the first day back from Christmas vacation.

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)
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
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.

1 comment:

Jennie said...

Lentils and sausages are a match made in heaven! This recipe is right up my alley! Ordering this book now!

Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year to you!

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