I lived in Hawaii for a year and theoretically living in paradise seems like a grand idea. Unless you're someone like me who loves seasons. Especially the changing of the seasons. Summers are lovely in Germany and fall is simply picture perfect. I love the change in scenary as the trees and plants transcend from summer to winter with gorgeous shades of oranges and browns and reds and yellows taking over. The crisp, clean earthy smell that consumes the air makes you crave hearty, warm dinners. It all constitutes cozyness.
[caption id="attachment_889" align="aligncenter" width="575" caption="Fall in my town"][/caption]
I love that even though colder weather means bone chilling mornings it also means warm comforting foods. Soups are wonderful for the tummy and the soul this time of year. While cruising the web for a new recipe I found this from Ina Garten. (Who, by the way, is my new favorite chef).
Not only was it delicious, but there was a TON left over. Perfect for freezing and using on a day I don't feel like cooking. And Lord knows there are many of those days ahead with the holiday season here already!
This is a must try soup. Serve it with a nice crusty carb :)
Lentil And Sausage Soup via Ina Garten
- 1 pound French green lentils (recommended: du Puy)
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for serving
- 4 cups diced yellow onions (3 large)
- 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
- 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, recipe follows, or canned broth
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 pound kielbasa, cut in 1/2 lengthwise and sliced 1/3-inch thick
- 2 tablespoons dry red wine or 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 and simmer until the kielbasa is hot. Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.
*My changes: I just used the lentils available at my grocery store. The soup did taste wonderful without the sausage, but as soon as I added the sausage it gave it a yummy smoky flavor. I pureed the soup and then added the sausage. I definitely recommend you puree the soup in a blender, food processor or with a hand blender. Also the addition of red wine seems optional, but I did notice the flavor was much better after I added the wine.