Another week down and another soup under my belt!
I’ve made a bit of a side goal to plan out my menu each week, including a soup (obviously), and stick to it. So far it’s going pretty well and I’ve been able to make everything I plan. Some highlights from this week were tamale pie and artichoke chicken. I especially liked the tamale pie and will definitely be making it again in the near future!
I always end up moving things around depending on how my day is going and how early I can get dinner started. This week has been especially challenging since work is a bit hectic and I worked a few late nights.
And yet I prevailed! On top of that, the soup was quite delicious.
This week, we’re back to savory soup. And considering how last week went, I think it was a good decision. I decided to go with Lentil Soup with Sausage and Kale, as always found through Pinterest, and from the blog my little gourmet.
I went into this recipe already knowing I was going to be making some changes. Not because there is anything wrong with the recipe, but for some reason I thought the recipe called for smoked sausage when I first pinned it and I couldn’t get that out of my head. So when I saw it was supposed to be ground sausage, I was actually disappointed after having looked forward mentally to a yummy soup with smoked sausage. I’m a rebel. I did smoked sausage. I also didn’t use 1/4 cup of olive oil in the beginning to brown the sausage. I cut that by at least half. It just seemed excessive to me.
I really liked this soup. It was hearty and delicious and had some great flavors. I also enjoy the opportunity use my enameled dutch oven and this is a really good soup for it.
I was surprised that the recipe called for plain water instead of chicken broth or the like. But using the water to de-glaze the bottom of the pot after browning the sausage, it picked up a ton of flavor immediately and I didn’t feel like it was missing anything. As the original recipe says may happen, I ended up adding about a cup of water near the end because the soup had gotten too thick for my liking.
I’m not a huge fan of kale. Usually, it just seems like chewy spinach to me. But I really enjoyed it in this soup. I thought it would be tough since it doesn’t cook for very long in the soup, but it wasn’t. I should note, I cooked the soup for a while longer, maybe 20 minutes extra after I added the kale, because my carrots were still crunchy after an hour, so that may have made a difference.
I really liked the garlic oil on top of the soup. Greg tried the soup first, before I remembered that I was supposed to make the garlic oil and serve it with Parmesan cheese. He tried it again once those were added and he said there was a noticeable difference in a positive way. I didn’t try it sans-garlic oil and cheesy deliciousness, but I can attest for it certainly adding some great flavors.
To sum up, this soup was really good. It was easy to put together and perfect for a cold winter day. The recipe below has been modified from the original for my changes.
Lentil Soup with Sausage and Kale
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50-70 minutes
2 T plus 1/4 cup of olive oil
1 lb. smoked sausage or kielbasa, diced in bit-size chunks
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup baby carrots, chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
4 cloves of minced garlic, split in half
1 cup lentils, rinsed
2 bay leaves
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
5 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 cups chopped kale
shredded Parmesan cheese for topping
- Heat 2 T olive oil in a large pot on medium heat.
- Add the sausage and brown, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
- Add the onion, carrot, celery, 1/2 of the garlic, and a pinch of salt to the pot. Cook until vegetables start to soften.
- Add a small amount of water and de-glaze the pot by scraping at the brown bits on the bottom with a wooden spoon.
- Add the rest of the water, lentils, bay leaves, tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 45-60 minutes or until the lentils and veggies are soft and soup is the consistency you prefer. You may want to add more water if the soup gets too thick.
- Add the kale and cook for a few more minutes until soft.
- While the kale cooks, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil in a small skillet and add the remaining garlic. Cook just until the garlic sizzles. Be careful not to burn the garlic!
- Remove the bay leaves from the soup and top each portion with some Parmesan cheese and a spoonful of the garlic oil.