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!
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.)