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  • I'm Kristen, a clumsy but determined home cook and crafter living in the Boston area with my husband, B, and I have an interest in all things food and craft.

    This blog was created to keep track of my various projects and adventures. They may not all be successes, but my goal is to remain unintimidated by whatever engages my curiosity.



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Lentil and Sausage Soup with Escarole

Every autumn, without fail, I get the overwhelming urge to make soup. Cozying up with a warm bowl of tasty soup on a chilly day is undeniably comforting, so comforting that it can become an addiction. Yes, I suppose I’m a soup addict. As I type this, my freezer is filled with three types of soup, and I look forward to thawing each and every container so I can have more “warm and comfy” time. Saccharine, but true.

I always used to shy away from recipes containing lentils because, first, I wasn’t confident that I would be able to cook them properly and, second, I associated them with “health” food and thought that they would taste like cardboard. Thankfully, I stepped out of my comfort zone long enough to try them, and now I’m always looking to try new lentil recipes.

I adapted this lentil and sausage soup recipe from the October issue of Gourmet and found it surprisingly flavorful. Though I love a hunk of warm, buttery bread with soup, I can’t always find the time to make my favorite gluten free bread (recipe to come in a future post), and pre-made gluten free breads aren’t exactly easy to find at the grocery store. Because I didn’t have a substantial side with this soup, I was worried that it wouldn’t fill me up, but between the lentils and the sausage it’s quite hearty. I won’t tell you that you shouldn’t have bread on the side because that would just be criminal, but I will tell you that you don’t need it.

I used vegetable stock instead of the chicken broth called for in the original recipe, and if you want to make it vegetarian, just leave out the sausage, too.

Lentil and Sausage Soup with Escarole
adapted from Gourmet, October 2008

Ingredients

1 lb. lentils, rinsed well
5 cups water
4 cups vegetable stock
1 Turkish bay leaf
4 garlic cloves, minced, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound Italian chicken sausage, sliced in half lengthwise, and cut into half inch pieces
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 lb. (4 cups packed) escarole, chopped
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Directions

1. In a medium pot, combine lentils, bay leaf, half of the garlic, water, and stock. Simmer, uncovered, for 12-14 minutes.

2. While the lentils are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the sausage, and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 7-10 minutes. If you are using chicken sausage, you may need an additional tablespoon or so of oil for the pan because of the lower fat content. Transfer the sausage to a bowl or plate in preparation for the next step.

3. Reduce heat in the sausage pot to medium and add carrots, onions, celery, salt, and pepper. Stirring occasionally, cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add remaining garlic and tomato paste and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add sausage and lentils with their cooking liquid and simmer, uncovered, for 3-5 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.

4. Add the escarole, stir, and cook about 3 minutes until tender. Discard the bay leaf, and stir in vinegar. Add additional salt and pepper, if needed.

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