Sunday, November 8, 2009
Sunday Soup: French Lentil Soup with Garlic Sausage
Last weekend I went to my favorite cooking store in San Diego, Great-News, to use my coupon that was about to expire. I looked at lots of cool gadgets and supplies, but the item that spoke to me most was this cookbook - Sunday Soup: A Year's Worth of Mouthwatering, Easy-to-Make Recipes by Betty Rosbottom. I love soup, I really do, but my repertoire is very limited, and I tend to stick with the standards. This book is a godsend, as it offers up lots of recipes, but best of all it breaks them down by season. So all the Fall Recipes are grouped together, followed by Winter and so on. That way you can make a soup using seasonal ingredients. And best of all, there is a Summer section full of cool (literally, as in "cold" and "chilled") soups to make.
The first soup I made is "French Lentil Soup with Garlic Sausage." I tried this one because I had the lentils on hand. The recipe calls for Puy lentils from France and I had some leftover from a Jamie Oliver recipe ("Pan-seared Scallops with Crispy Bacon and Sage, Puy Lentils and Green Salad" from The Naked Chef cookbook. It was a lot of work, but very tasty). I searched far and wide and eventually found a substitute for them at Whole Foods. I thought about getting the "real" version from an online store, but these worked out great.
I only made half of the recipe, but that was enough for 3 good-sized servings. The house smelt so good when the soup was simmering (it was a particularly cold night, so that probably made the whole experience that much more delicious). I used pork kielbasa along with the puy lentils (oh the fun of running around saying "pwee" and KIL-basa, like Mufasa from the Lion King) and the result was a hearty bean and sausage soup. It's not the prettiest soup around, but very tasty. Held up nicely the next day for lunch too.
I'll let you know how I progress with the rest of the recipes. Next up - Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Cider Cream. Yum!
French Lentil Soup with Garlic Sausage
Recipe from Sunday Soup by Betty Rosbottom
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced carrots (1/4-inch dice)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup diced celery (1/4 inch dice)
3 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
6 ounces garlic sausage, such as kielbasa, cut into 1/4 inch dice
2 teaspoons dried thyme
9 cups beef stock
2 bay leaves, broken in half
1 pound (2 cups) Puy lentils (French green lentils)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish
Heat oil in a large pot (with a lid) over medium heat. When hot, add the carrots, onion and celery. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are just softened, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, sausage, and thyme, and cook 1 minute more.
Add the stock and bay leaves, and bring mixture to a simmer over high heat. Stir in the lentils, then reduce heat, cover, and cook at a gentle simmer until tender, for about 50 minutes.
Remove and discard the bay leaves. Remove the garlic pieces and transfer to food processor. Using a slotted spoon, strain 1/2 cup solids (vegetables and sausage) from the soup and puree them with garlic pieces in a food processor, or combine them with garlic pieces in a small bowl and smash with the back of a fork. Stir the pureed mixture into the pot; this will thicken the soup slightly. Taste soup and season with salt, as needed. (Soup can be prepared 1 day ahead; cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat.)
To serve, ladle the soup into 6 soup bowls and sprinkle with parsley over each serving.