I’ve been in this crazy cooking and baking mode lately. It feels inspiring and fun. After the holidays I am sure to get burned out. At least I’ve already sat down and have planned a ton of new things to try to keep up my enthusiasm. I just hope to stick to those things, like I have pies on the brain.
Anyway, to keep things going at this point I have been flipping through my many cookbooks to find new things to try and actually put the cookbooks to use. I’m tired of them just collecting dust. Things have to change. So the first book I grabbed was The Comfort Table by Katie Lee Joel. I considered several dishes like her Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Corn and Scallop Chowder, Chicken Pot Pie, and Cranberry Pear Crisp. In the end I decided on her Sausage and Lentil Stew but I wanted was not in the mood for stew so I increased the chicken stock from 6 cups to 10 cups.
I just loved how this was so simple to whip up. It took about 30 minutes of hands on cooking them and then the rest of the time I was able to get distracted with something else until dinner time. I did have to switch pots when I had to add the kale and stock as I did not calculate the size of the pot correctly and my first one was much too small. Don’t be like me! Grab the big pot the first time around. I did take my time cutting the kale since I didn’t want too many stem pieces so I suggest that you cut the kale into thin ribbons and trim out the stem from the leaf when it gets really thick.
This soup manages to be hearty and yet really like from all of the vegetables all at the same time. Leave the sausage out the this becomes a lovely vegetarian soup that is sure to please. I suggest that you serve it with some cheese and a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and you can’t forget a piece of bread!
Sausage and Lentil Soup
Makes 8 servings
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 large carrots, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 8 ounces French lentils
- 1 pound andouille sausage, cut into small pieces
- 12 ounces coarsely chopped fresh kale
- One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, with juice
- 10 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Grated asiago or parmesan cheese, for garnish
- In a very large stock pot, heat the oil over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add the mirepoix (onion, carrots, celery) and bay leaves to the pot and cook the vegetables, stirring frequently, until very tender, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in the lentils, sausage, and kale.
- As you add the tomatoes, remove and discard the tougher piece where the stem was connected to the fruit and break up the tomatoes with your fingers.
- Add the chicken stock, and seasonings. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, covered, until lentils and kale are tender. Remove bay leaves prior to serving.
- Ladle into bowls and top with some grated cheese. Serve immediately.