The weather has turned cold all of a sudden and it was very cold yesterday. I guess it is finally time to put away the sandals and pull out boots, ear muffs and woolen wear. My third recipe from Food52 is perfect for this cold weather. It is a lentil sausage soup with lots of veggies; a filling soup and wholesome meal when served with some bread. It is a perfect meal or a dinner for cold late autumn and winter nights.
I made half the recipe and used less lentils than the recipe called for. Whole masoor dal is a good substitute for French green lentils though I would recommend using green lentils if one can get their hands on it. Unlike whole masoor, green lentils hold their shape when cooked. Preparation of lentil sausage soup looks lengthy but it is not. It is an easy preparation; cook the lentils, cook the sausage and prepare the soup. That's it! Here is another picture of the soup on my photoblog. I wanted to put up a picture of French Green Lentils and forgot to click it yesterday.
I will try to take a picture today and upload it very soon. Here is the French green lentils.
I recently started shooting RAW and the lentils image below was shot in RAW. Most of the cameras let us shoot in both RAW + JPEG and I am using that option. Shooting in RAW is easy but editing RAW images is a challenge. I shot even the above soup image in RAW but I felt my JPEG was better than the RAW image I processed. I am still learning to process RAW images and to be honest, I don't know what I am doing! I am playing around and trying to get decent pictures. Hopefully I will figure it out very soon.
Source: Food 52
- ½ cup French Green Lentils
- 1 Bay Leaf (I forgot to use it)
- 1 - 1 ½ tbsp. Bacon Fat or Olive Oil, divided (I used 1 tablespoon olive oil)
- 1 ½ - 2 Sausages made with garlic and/or herbs (I used uncooked garlic herb pork sausage)
- 1 small Yellow Onion, diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic finely chopped
- ¼ cup Sturdy Red Wine (I didn’t use)
- 2 cups Chicken or Beef stock (I used pork stock that I made for Hungarian Clear Soup)
- 1 stalk Celery, sliced to ¾” pieces or ⅓ - ½ cup sliced Celery
- ½ tbsp. dried Marjoram (Can use fresh marjoram)
- 2 - 3 small Carrots, peeled and sliced to ¾ - 1” slices or ⅓ - ½ cups sliced Carrots
- 1 ½ tbsp. Ketchup
- 1 cup chopped Spinach
- 2 tbsp. chopped Parsley (I used cilantro )
- ½ tsp. Salt (adjust to taste)
- ⅛ tsp. Pepper Powder (adjust to taste)
- Red Wine Vinegar to taste
- Cooking Green Lentils - Put 2 ½ - 3 cups of water to boil. Wash green lentils several times in cold water. Take the lentils in a saucepan and cook with 2 - 2½ cups of hot water. If water is not boiling that is ok. Cook lentils on medium heat until tender. Keep an eye on the lentils and keep stirring in between. It will take at least 15 - 20 minutes for the lentils to cook.
- Cooking Sausage - If using uncooked sausage, cook as per instructions. This is how I usually cook sausage. In a pan take some water, about 1 cup and place sausage in the pan. Cover and cook for 6 - 10 minutes turning the sausages around 3 - 4 times in between. When the exterior of the sausage is cooked, remove the cover and cook until water evaporates. Keep turning the sausages around for even cooking. Once the water evaporates, keep turning/rolling the sausages until brown on all sides. At this point, sausage seal might break and some juices might spill out. That is ok. It usually takes about 15 - 20 minutes as I like well cooked sausages. Also, I roasted them well and skipped the next step of sauteing sausages slices in some oil. Slice the sausages and keep aside.
- If using precooked sausages, slice the sausages into ¾” pieces and brown them in a saucepan with ¾ tablespoon oil along with the bay leaf. When browned, take them out and keep aside. Same saucepan can be used to prepare the soup.
- Cooking Soup - In a saucepan heat ¾ - 1 tablespoon of oil and add bay leaf. (if using precooked sausage use the same pan used to saute sausages and don’t need another bay leaf).
- Add onion , garlic and saute on medium - medium high heat until onions are translucent.
- If using wine, add at this point and cook for a minute or two to deglaze the pan.
- Add the lentils along with the water in which it is cooked. If the lentils are not tender by this point, it is ok. Lentils will cook in the soup.
- Add stock, celery and marjoram, and give a good stir.
- When the celery is half cooked, add carrots, sliced sausages, salt, pepper powder and stir. Continue cooking the soup for another 1 - 2 minutes.
- Then reduce the heat to medium low and continue cooking until lentils are tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add more water or stock if required.
- Add ketchup and cook for few minutes until carrots are tender. It should not take too long and carrots should be tender by now. Taste test and adjust seasoning.
- Add spinach, cilantro and mix. Increase the flame and bring it to a good boil. I do not like to cook spinach for too long; about couple of minutes until spinach wilts.
- Serving - Serve the soup with a whole grain bread and butter. Pass around the red wine vinegar separately for people to add to taste. I had my soup as it is without bread and red wine vinegar.
This day in 2013: Spice Rubbed Grilled Chicken with Cucumber Relish