Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hearty lentil soup perfect for a stormy night

I don’t know why I ever found soup intimidating.

I’ve only attempted a few pots on my own, but every time, I’m amazed by how easy it is to make soup, and how flavorful the end result turns out.

Friday’s gray, stormy conditions were perfect soup weather, so I decided to give lentil soup a go. I bought the kielbasa and lentils a few days ago — Winco’s bulk food bins are my new best friend, I think a pound of lentils cost me 70 cents — and put post-stuffing vegetables to good use. The choice in herbs was based solely on what’s in my spice cabinet at the moment.

This recipe resulted in a pretty hefty pot of soup (maybe 8 large servings), so some of the leftovers went into the freezer for a future stormy night.

Hearty Lentil Soup with Kielbasa
2 ½ cups dry lentils
10 cups chicken broth
14 oz. kielbasa, cut into slices
1 ½ cups chopped carrots
1 ½ cups chopped celery
2 medium white onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil

Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onions, celery and carrots and sauté vegetables for roughly 5 minutes, or until they soften slightly. Add kielbasa and herbs to pot, stirring with vegetables for 2-3 minutes, and then add lentils, broth and bay leaves. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are soft (in my case, this was roughly 30-40 minutes).

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