Kale, sausage and lentil soup

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Rarely do I spout heroics about food.  Food can make your taste-buds sing, your heart open, even make your feet dance in ecstasy, but rarely does food sweep in like superman and save the day.

This soup...did just that.

Last Sunday I had a hankering for soup and not just any soup.  No gentle cream of cauliflower was going to curb this craving.  I needed soup with strength, with panache.  Something hearty. Meaty.  A soup with substance.  The problem was that I had dinner plans every night the coming week so it seemed ridiculous to make an entire pot of soup just for me.  “Live wildly,” I said to myself.  “The worst that happens is I eat it for breakfast and lunch all week and freeze the rest.”

There really is magic in listening to your body because the soup that came from my cravings was all my body asked for and more. The transmission that shot from my stomach to the gathered ingredients cooked up a bold, brilliant combo of kale, sausage and lentils.  Hearty with the sausage, starchy with the lentils and just enough green to keep a light balance. Heaven.

Fast forward to Monday and Tuesday.  With my packed schedule I didn’t have a chance to dive into the soup and felt super guilty that I was about to let the goodness go to waste. Tuesday night I decided the next day I’d freeze the rest.

Then came Wednesday morning.  Chills, full-body aches and a 102 fever.  YEP, struck by the flu.  And not just any flu.  This sucker came hard, fast and with no mercy.  I cancelled all my clients, crawled back into bed, and for the next 2 days pondered the meaning of life between episodes of Scandal.  

All I can say is thank goodness I didn’t freeze the rest of the soup because if I hadn’t been able to just plop a ladle full of that soul-healing goodness into a bowl then weakly move it to my mouth, I may not be writing this post right now.  (I also tend towards melodrama when ill.)

This soup totally swooped in and saved the day...and my ass.  May it do the same for you. Enjoy.

soup

soup

Kale, sausage and lentil soup

1 ¼ cups  French green lentils

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ a medium onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3 stalks celery, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

2 tbs tomato paste

1 pound organic pork sausage, out of its casing  (chicken-apple sausage, kielbasa, or lamb sausage would be tasty here too.)

2 cups green leaf kale, chopped

2 tablespoons  fresh parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.

In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions, garlic, a touch of salt, a pinch of pepper, thyme, and cumin for 10 minutes, or until the onions are  translucent. Add the celery and carrots and sauté for another 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, drained lentils and water or stock to cover the lentils.  The liquid should be about an inch above the lentils.  Cover, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked through and tender.

Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, saute the sausage until cooked fully through.  Drain off any excess fat.  When the lentils are cooked add the sausage and kale.  Cook for another 10 minutes, until the kale is wilted.  Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Top with parsley and enjoy!

Generaljamie