I love soup, but I’m partial to thick, chunky soups that borderline on stew except my soups rarely have large chunks of meat. Lentil soups were never my favorite, but when I saw this recipe for Lentil Soup with Sausage and Cabbage I knew I had to make it. Luckily I also had a head of green cabbage waiting to be used in the fridge. As I finished cooking it occurred to me that this soup looked a lot like my grandmothers vegetable soup (a variety of vegetables in a broth with tomatoes, ground beef and cabbage). It was – and that is just fine because I loved my grandmother’s vegetable soup.
I did make some changes to the recipe. I halved the recipe, since a household of two doesn’t need 8 servings of untested soup. I skipped the stew-meat since it just struck me as an odd addition, and picked spicy italian sausage over mild italian sausage. While the lentil variety was not specified, and I suspect they meant the common brown/green lentil, I chose to use french green lentils. And finally I did not add the tomato and salt according the instructions (when adding the water and lentils) because I was worried about the salt or acid prolonging the cook-time for the lentils; Instead I added the tomato and salt once the lentils had softened, let the pot come back to a simmer and then added the cabbage.
Lentil Soup with Sausage and Cabbage from How to Pick a Peach by Russ Parsons
adapted slightly by me (ie this is half a recipe and missing stew meat)
- 1 T olive oil
- 1/2 lb italian sausage (I chose spicy italian sausage)
- 2 T red wine vinegar, plus more for the finished soup
- 1 chopped carrot
- 1 chopped celery rib
- 1/2 onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 lb french green lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 5 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 t salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 8 oz cabbage, cored and shredded (probably half a small cabbage)
In soup pot (I used my 4 qt pot) heat the oil and add the sausage. Cook until done, breaking it up as it browns. Once it is cooked (recipe says 15 minutes, I didn’t time it) pour the red wine vinegar into the pan to deglaze it, stirring vigorously to loosen the stuck bits. Once the vinegar has evaporated remove the pot from the heat, and use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a strainer (or plate with paper towels). Spoon out some of the remaining fat from the pot – you want to have about 1 tablespoon left in the pot. Put the pot back on the burner and turn to medium. Add the carrot, celery, and onion to pot and saute until soft, around 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and stir until fragrant, maybe a minute. At this point you add the lentils, water and bay leaf and bring it to boil, then turn down to simmer. Let everything simmer for about 45 minutes, then test lentils to make sure they are tender. Now add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and bring it back to a simmer. Add the shredded cabbage, and let everything simmer for about 15 minutes until the cabbage is soft. Add a drizzle of red wine vinegar (maybe a tablespoon or so) and taste to adjust seasonings if needed.