Monday, December 20, 2010

Lentil Sausage Soup

Confession:  I don't really like lentil soup... that is... until I tried this one.

We were at a holiday party at the Rein house and this soup was the main course.  Reluctantly, I poured some in my bowl and decided that I wasn't going to be rude and eat up.  I instantly fell in love with the healthy and flavorful taste.  Immediately, I was begging for the recipe, which Gerry so graciously made me a copy of.  I've been making it ever since.  It's so hearty and heart healthy too.  Did I mention how easy it is? Flove!


  • 1 pound French green lentils (recommended: du Puy) *I just use the regular lentils from the grocery store
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 4 cups diced yellow onions (3 large) * I use the frozen pre-chopped onions
  • 4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (2 leeks)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 large cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves *don't skimp on the fresh here!
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 cups medium diced celery (8 stalks)
  • 3 cups medium diced carrots (4 to 6 carrots)
  • 3 quarts homemade chicken stock *I use Wolfgang Puck chicken stock from store (don't use broth)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 pound kielbasa, cut in 1/2 lengthwise and sliced 1/3-inch thick * I use turkey kielbasa to make it even healthier
  • 2 tablespoons dry red wine or red wine vinegar  *I use red wine vinegar
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving


In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.

In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onions, leeks, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent and tender. Add the celery and carrots and saute for another 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, and drained lentils, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, or until the lentils are cooked through and tender. Check the seasonings. Add the kielbasa and red wine vinegar and simmer until the kielbasa is hot. Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.

This recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa, serves 8-10, and leftovers freeze beautifully.  Enjoy!

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