Lentil, Sausage, and Root Vegetable Soup
Geez. I love soup. It is the most perfect food. Digestible, dunkable, and delectable (oo it's inspiring me to be alliterative. That's how you KNOW it's good).
But not just any soup. Spare me your cans of Campbells, your consommes (I'm doing it again...). For me to really enjoy my soup, it needs to be a meal soup - a soup that constitutes dinner in and of itself. There is a word for the kind of soup I like.
That word is HEARTY.
This soup is full of heart. And probably good for your heart, too.
I love working with vegetables. They are a bit difficult to unlock, they are weird and knotty and usually not that great raw. But despite the mystery and occasional disaster, there is a real aesthetic pleasure to working with the pretty things.
And it helps to know that what you're preparing will help your body feel better and not worse, as so many delicious but unhealthy foods do.
This soup is easy. It is quick and reliable to make, with a simmering period of 45 minutes. Of course, as in any vegetable dish, the majority of effort will go into the washing and slicing of the veggies. But even that doesn't take too long, and afterward it's just stir and simmer.
Enjoy your January, everyone. Warm it up a little with some soup.
Lentil and Root Vegetable Soup (this recipe is adapted from one of my favorite food blogs, Canelle et Vanille. Her food is wonderful and her photography is stunning. Do drop in if you get a chance!)
3 Tbs olive oil
2 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 turnip, diced
2 parsnips, peeled and diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
¼ acorn squash, peeled and diced
1 Tbs tomato paste
1-2 quality sausages, sliced
1 qt chicken stock
2 cups water
1 cup lentils
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 1/2 t thyme
Rinse the lentils and cover them with water. Let them soak for about 4 hours. You can skip this step, but your lentils will be softer if you soak them.
In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, onion, carrot and celery and cook them for about 5 minutes. Don’t caramelize them, just sweat them.
Add the tomato paste, sausage and rest of vegetable and cook them for another 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, water, thyme, lentils, pepper and salt. Stir and bring this to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot and let the lentils cook for about 45 minutes until tender. Adjust seasoning to your taste and serve with your favorite bread, cheese toast or plain.