Anotheryarn Eats

October 6, 2009

Lentil Soup

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , , — anotheryarn @ 11:09 pm

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.

lentilsoup

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.

October 4, 2009

Provencal Vegetable Stew

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , , , — anotheryarn @ 10:14 pm

I know that Rachel Ray is quite the controversial figure in the cooking world.  To that I say,whatever.  I’ve been given three of her cookbooks and sometimes I find yummy sounding things (personally I have no problem ignoring the goofball names, plus I have my own goofball side, so who am I to judge?).  I was lamenting the lack of eggplant recipes in my cookbooks as I was flipping through cookbooks trying to figure out what to do with my two, yes two, new eggplants from this week’s share.  I grabbed Express Lane cooking, cursed the index (no eggplant listed) and then noticed a post-it note marking a recipe I wanted to try sometime.  That recipe was Provencal Vegetable Stew – which calls for 1 eggplant (I repeat cursed index)!  It also called for mushrooms and celery so I had TheHusband grab some from the grocery store on his way home (he had just called and I still hadn’t figured out any other ideas for dinner).  Of course it didn’t take 30 minutes.  Maybe it would have if I had started timing things after  I chopped all the veggies – I’m not the fastest chopper around, but I’m not painstakingly slow either.  It took 45 minutes.  And it was good, I’d make it again.

IMG_7292

Provencal Vegetable Stew from Express Lane Meals by Rachel Ray
serves 4

  • big glug of olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped (or say 1/2 of a large one)
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms, quartered if large
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium eggplant, chopped in 1″ cubes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 T fresh thyme leaves, chopped (or 1 t dried thyme)
  • 1 T fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 c dry white wine (or dry vermouth)
  • 1 14-oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • a baguette or other crusty bread

Heat the olive oil in a big soup pot.  Add the onions, bell pepper, garlic, mushrooms, celery, and bay leaf.  Saute for a couple minutes (while you chop the eggplant and herbs).  Add the eggplant, salt, pepper and herbs.  Saute for about 15 minutes until the eggplant is soft, stirring occasionally.  Add the white wine or vermouth and deglaze the pan (stirring to get any stuck bits loose).  When that has cooked off add the tomatoes and heat through.  Serve with a nice thick slice of crusty bread.

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