Week 3 – Lentil Soup with Sausage and Kale

Another week down and another soup under my belt!

Week 3 b

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.

Week 3 c

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

Serves: 6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50-70   minutes

Ingredients

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

Directions

  1. Heat 2 T olive oil in a large pot on medium heat.
  2. Add the sausage and brown, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the onion, carrot, celery, 1/2 of the garlic, and a pinch of salt to the pot. Cook until vegetables start to soften.
  4. Add a small amount of water and de-glaze the pot by scraping at the brown bits on the bottom with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add the rest of the water, lentils, bay leaves, tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. 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.
  7. Add the kale and cook for a few more minutes until soft.
  8. 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!
  9. Remove the bay leaves from the soup and top each portion with some Parmesan cheese and a spoonful of the garlic oil.

Week 3 a

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