Monday, February 20, 2006

Soup for ARF/-5-A-Day Tuesday

Lentil Soup With Smoked Sausage
Food and Wine Magazine’s Quick From Scratch Herbs and Spices Cookbook Copyright 1998, 2002, 2004

2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 pound lentils (about 2 1/3 cups)
1 ½ cups drained canned diced tomatoes (one 15-ounce can)
2 ½ quarts water, more if needed
4 teaspoons dried summer savory, or ¼ cup chopped fresh savory I used dried
1 bay leaf
1 ¾ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
½ pound kielbasa or other smoked sausage I used smoked turkey sausage

1. In a large pot, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the celery, onion, and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Add the lentils, tomatoes, water, dried savory, if using, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and cook, partially covered, until the lentils are tender, about 40 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick frying pan over moderately high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning, until browned, about 3 minutes in all. Remove. When the sausage cooks enough to handle, cut crosswise into ¼ -inch thick slices.
4. Stir the sausage and fresh savory, if using, into the soup and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Remove the bay leaf. If the soup is too thick for your taste, thin it with additional water.

I haven't made as many soups as I thought I would this winter, due to an unusually warm season. But we're finally getting some good soup weather here. I've had my eye on this recipe for a while but I didn't have any savory on hand and it was very expensive for an ingredient I can honestly say that I rarely (or should I say, never) see called for in other recipes. I was going to substitute thyme until I found some savory at a good price in the local Amish store. I don't know if it was summer savory and truthfully, this could actually be thyme because it sure tasted a lot like thyme to me.

I used to make lentils quite often but I haven't made them in years. I forgot how much I enjoy them and they're healthy too. I don't know where they rank but they're supposedly high in antioxidants, so this is my contribution to Sweetnick's ARF/5-A-Day Tuesdays. Sweetnick had a rough week and had her gallbladder removed (which my sister insisted was more painful than childbirth, even after having two children). I hope she's feeling better.

The soup was delicious, healthy and filling. They were smart and added the smoked sausage in towards the end. Otherwise, the smoked sausage would lose all of it's flavor into the broth.

I'm starting to think I should rename this blog The Food and Wine Magazine's Quick From Scratch Cookbook Junkie. I can't help but keep reaching for these books.

Question of the Day: Have you been making (or eating) a lot of soup this winter?


Heather said...

You know I have never tried lentils, unless by mistake. This recipe has inspired me to give them a try.
It has been quite warm here also so the cold weather food is getting the shaft this year. This past weekend we had a cold patch but it back up the to 50's today. I guess that is global warming for you, honestly I don't mind a bit.

Randi said...

Ive made a few soups, but Robin only likes creamy soups, while I prefer broth based soups. I'm going to make some clam chowder soon though.

Randi said...

btw, do you have a bulk store where you live? I often get obsure spices there in small amounts. Its super cheap that way.