Friday, September 24, 2010

Sausage and Lentil Soup

My sweet girl is napping and I'm making a double batch of Cucina Cucina Lentil Sausage soup to freeze for meals after the baby comes. Here is the link to the recipe: http://www.mom-mom.com/lentil.htm . My friend Tawny told me about it last year and it's probably my favorite hearty soup recipe now. It's one of those that you would eat at a restaurant and wonder what's in it and assume it's hard to make at home. It's really not though! A little time consuming with prep, but not too bad.

Here's the actual recipe so you can view it and see pics on the same page:

1 1/2 cups lentils rinsed thoroughly

4 links (1 lb.) Italian sausage (mild is used in the restaurant and I prefer ground sausage- I'm weird about eating casing)
1 TBSP butter
1 TBSP Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)
1/2 cup diced white onion (I prefer Maui or Walla Walla Sweet)
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/4 cup diced leek, white part only
1/4 cup diced celery
1 TBSP salt
1/2 TSP. ground white pepper (or black)
1 QT. Chicken Stock (I use water and granules)
2 TBSP Dijon Mustard (I'm not a mustard fan generally but this is part of the special flavor of the soup, do not omit it!)
1 TBSP Red Wine Vinegar
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup fresh spinach coarsely chopped, divided use
Fresh grated Parmesan Cheese to Taste



In a heavy bottom 2 QT saucepot, add the butter and olive oil. Heat to melt the
butter, then add the sausage links and brown evenly on all sides. (While the
sausage is cooking, reduce the heat so the butter does not burn) Cook the
sausage for about 5 minutes, or until the center is done. Then remove from the
pan and allow to cool. (they will be sliced and added back later) Do not drain the pain, the fat and juices will be a part of the recipe.
After removing the sausage, add the onions, carrots, celery, leeks and seasonings
to the pot. Cook over medium-high heat until the vegetables are tender (about 2
minutes). I found that it took more like 5 minutes. Then add the lentils and chicken
stock, stir briefly and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally to prevent the lentils from
sticking to the bottom of the pan. When the soup starts to boil, reduce the heat to
low, and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 45 minutes. While the soup is
simmering, slice the sausage.
When the lentils are tender add the cream, sausage, mustard, vinegar and 3/4 cup
of the spinach. Stir to mix all the ingredients well. Return the soup to a boil, then
reduce heat and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Serve in warm bowls garnished with fresh spinach and parmesan cheese.



Lentils soaking

Butter and olive oil

Ground sausage cooking in butter and olive oil

All the veggies diced and ready

Garbage bowl to save time running to the trash

This kind of spoon/ladle is great for getting the sausage out of the pan without removing the fat/oil/butter

Sausage set aside to cool

Veggies added to the pan

If only you could smell this!

Chicken broth

Drained lentils

The soup simmers for 45 minutes while the lentils cook

Sausage ready for the soup (cut up in bite size pieces)

Finished soup (this is a pic from when I made it with link sausage). It's so beautiful, hearty, and satisfying!

3 comments:

  1. That looks delish! I think I may have found inspiration for Saturday supper :D

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  2. Thanks girl! I keep eating it right out of the pan (I'm waiting for it to cool to package it and freeze it :) ).

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