Originally I was working on posting this recipe right before Thanksgiving, but a little thing called life and not enough time got in the way.  I have a feeling that will be happening a lot until January rolls around.  I even had all this witty (well, in my mind) banter about throwing in a recipe that wasn’t Thanksgiving related when it is in fact time to think about the holidays.  But now you just get a back story instead.

I have wanted to share this recipe with you for ages.  I don’t know how or when I found it, I’m guessing that I watched Ina make it on the Food Network one day, but it called to me.  I happen to be Polish, and this recipe has Kielbasa in it, but since I grew up eating lots and lots of it, I was sick of it for ages.  But this soup seems to be the perfect way to incorporate it.

This soup is really easy to make.  Full of veggies, and lentils (which are GOOD for you).  It also makes enough to feed an army.  So you can literally eat this for a week.  I like to make it on a Sunday and then I am set until I get so sick of it I can’t look at it any more.

I used to hate leftovers, but I’ve been getting better about it.  It also helps if you have people come over for dinner and feed them this to help get rid of some of it.  Then you keep the rest for yourself.

You can also easily make this vegetarian friendly, using veggie stock and getting rid of the sausage.

Lentil Sausage Soup

1 pound green lentils
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 chicken stock (this is 3  4 cup cartons)
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.

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