Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sausage, Lentil & Kale Soup

  • Did you know that In Italy, lentils are a traditional accompaniment for pork sausages, and are also a required item on New Year's Eve (or day) menus; their shape brings to mind tiny coins and people eat them in the hope that they won't want for cash during the rest of the year!
I don't know about you, but I could really use this good luck, so I plan on eating my way into the New Year with a diet full of lentils! This soup is the perfect way to start it, too!  Not only does it have lentils, but spicy sausage and the amazingly delicious and nutritious kale!  One of my all-time favorite leafy veggies!  Enjoy and have a Happy coin-filled New Year!

  • {sausage, lentil & kale soup}
  •      Serves 4.
  • 1 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 lb. bulk hot Italian sausage
  • 1 C. lentils
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 8oz. mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced (I used 2oz. shitake I re-hydrated in the soup this time & love the meatiness they provide!)
  • 1 large baking potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
  • 3 to 4 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/4 C. tomato paste
  • 4 C. chicken stock (use 5 if you prefer a little more soupy, like me)
  • 3 C. water
  • 1 bunch kale, thick stems removed and discarded, leaves shredded
Place a large soup pot over medium-high heat. add olive oil. Once hot, add the sausage and sauté for 3-4 minutes, breaking it up into small pieces with the back of a spoon or a potato masher as it cooks and browns.

While the sausage is browning, pour the lentils out onto a light-colored plate and sift through them. Discard any small stones -- sometimes you find them sometimes you don't, but better safe than sorry.

To the browned sausage, add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, potato, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper and the tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes.

Add the stock and 3 cups of water, turn the heat up to high and bring up to a bubble. Add the lentils and the kale, stir until the kale wilts in then turn the heat down to medium and simmer 40-50 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Serve warm.

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