Lentil Soup with Smoked Sausage

This hearty soup, with its lentils and sausage, seems made for savory. For a special version, use imported Vertes du Puy lentils, which have a rich, earthy flavor. A firm whole-grain bread would be ideal alongside.

Yield: 4
Recipe from Food & Wine

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 pound lentils (about 2 1/3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups drained canned diced tomatoes (one 15-ounce can)
  • 2 1/2 quarts water, more if needed
  • 4 teaspoons dried summer savory, or 1/4 cup chopped fresh savory
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound kielbasa or other smoked sausage

Preparation

  1. 1. In a large pot, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the celery, onion, and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. 2. Add the lentils, tomatoes, water, dried savory, if using, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and cook, partially covered, until the lentils are tender, about 40 minutes.
  3. 3. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick frying pan over moderately high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning, until browned, about 3 minutes in all. Remove. When the sausage is cool enough to handle, cut it crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
  4. 4. Stir the sausage and fresh savory, if using, into the soup and simmer it for 5 minutes longer. Remove the bay leaf. If the soup is too thick for your taste, thin it with additional water.
  5. Wine Recommendation: The inexpensive red wines called Côtes-du-Rhône--from a district of the same name in the south of France--tend to have earthy and spicy flavors that will nicely balance those of the lentils and sausages.
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