Monday, May 19, 2008

"Lentils, It's What's for Dinner"

With the high price of beef and gas and food in general, we are all looking for ways to cut back, and lentil's are the perfect solution. High in protein, low in cost, and easy to prepare, I'm surprised they aren't disappearing from grocery store shelves as we type. One thing I like best about Lentils is how fast they cook. No pre-soaking required. Just saute some aromatics and throw them in the pot. Easy!

Many people think of Lentil Soup as a winter meal. But I think Lentils are good any time of year. Cook a pot for Sunday supper, serve with some crusty bread, a salad, a glass of red wine and some smoked sausage and you're in business. Très bon!

Lentil Soup

1 Pound Lentils
1 Large Yellow Onion
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Tablespoon Olive Oi1
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 1/2 Teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
1 Teaspoon dried Thyme
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Cup Diced Celery
1 Cup Diced Carrot
1 14 1/2 oz. can of Tomatoes (I like Muir Glen Organic)
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
1 lb. good Smoked Sausage (Kamps in OKC sells a good smoked sausage)

Slice the smoked sausage into 1/2 inch thick pieces and brown with a bit of olive oil in large stockpot. Remove sausage and set aside.

In the same large stockpot on medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for about 10 minutes or until soft.

Add the celery and carrots and saute for 10 more minutes.

Add canned tomatoes along with juices and fill pot with about 3 quarts of water. (You could use chicken stock in place of water here, but with the aromatic vegetables and the smokiness of the sausage, it really isn't necessary.)

Rinse Lentils in a colander, then add to the pot, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until tender.

During the last 5 minutes of cooking time add smoked sausage back to pot along with 1Tablespoon of red wine vinegar (the vinegar will help brighten the flavor of this hearty soup.)


Laavanya said...

That looks like a very hearty soup. We use lentils very often in Indian cooking - almost everyday.... they are a great source of protein for vegetarians, coupled with rice/ rotis.

Cynthia said...

I particularly like the last photograph.

Michelle said...

laavanya, this is a hearty soup. I didn't realize Lentils were so popular in Indian cooking. Good to know, as I love Indian cooking.

cynthia, I'm flattered that you liked the photograph. I am rather partial to the bowl, as it is handmade by a local artist. I just love the look of a rustic soup in a rustic bowl.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Everything about this soup is good!
Your phot makes me want to stick my spoon right in!

Betty C. said...

I'm crazy about lentils too! I wish my kids were -- they do like a basic lentil soup, though.

Thanks for your visit to my blog. I also write a cooking blog which you can find on my profile.

Bye for now!

Michelle said...

Thanks for stopping by Betty c.. I'm going to check out your cooking blog now. I'm always looking for new recipes to try.

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