Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Soup's On!


In yesterday's post I included this picture and mentioned my kale and lentil soup. Since then I've had several requests for the recipe. Your wish is my command!

This soup is a sort of combination of Portuguese kale soup and lentil soup. The original plan, on getting ready to head for the grocery store to stock up, was to make Portuguese kale soup, but I noticed that I had a bag of dry lentils in the cupboard and a bunch of celery in the refrigerator. That was when the idea to combine two of my favorite soups came about. Be advised that this is a huge amount, meant to feed me for a week (so I don't have to cook every night when I get home from work). It's also largely an improvisation on basic recipes meant to please my particular taste, so amounts, while fixed for the purpose of this writing, are fairly approximate; you can vary to suit your own taste. So here goes.
1 lb. dry lentils
2 or 3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons crushed or minced garlic
1 1/2 lbs. sausage - Portuguese chouriço, Spanish chorizo, or Cajun andouille - sliced
1 large onion, chopped
5 or 6 stalks celery, chopped
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (2 cans if you like tomatoes)
3 large potatoes, cubed
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
1 large bunch kale, chopped or ripped up (that's how the Portuguese do it)
Season to taste (I use McCormick's Tuscan Seasoning, which has basil, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, among other things)
So, first cook the lentils in about 2 quarts of water. This usually takes from 30 to 45 minutes. Drain, rinse, and set aside.

In a very large soup pot heat the oil and brown the garlic. Add the sausage, onion, and celery and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onion and celery are somewhat tender and a little browned. Add the tomatoes, potatoes, stock, and seasoning. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat back and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the lentils and the kale and simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and serve, preferably with fresh cornbread.

[Notes: The sausage is fairly spicy. The chouriço/chorizo is made with paprika, sweet for the mild version and hot for the hot version. The andouille is just plain hot; if you've ever had gumbo, you'll know what I mean. As for the chicken stock, I always use Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base; I find it easier to make my soup bases from that rather than lug home those big cans of stock. You can use bouillon cubes if you want, but the Better Than Bouillon bases are way more tasty!]

Yes, it's really that easy. But man, it really sticks to the ribs and warms you up on a cold winter's day. Enjoy!

© 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger

4 comments:

  1. Oooh...thanks! I thought it looked wonderful. And I love to cook like that...large amounts that feed us for several days! I love spicy, too...and all that garlic? Yum!

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  2. My first visit here. The picture of this soup stopped me – it looks so delicious. I have a bag of lentils that I bought the last time I went back home (Paris, F.) I thought I would cook it with some lamb, but your soup looks like the thing. I looked at some of your pictures below – nice but cold! I remember snow in PA. When we moved from San Francisco in 1970 we lived in Ardmore while my husband went to the U of PA – and I taught French to private students. I was petrified to drive our VW in the snow!

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