Wednesday, February 3, 2016

French Lentil Soup

This soup uses the French trio of onions, carrots, and celery as a base. I've added some sausage to make it more palatable to my meat loving family, though the sausage is entirely optional.


1 cup lentils, green or brown
1 quart very hot water
1 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped, about 1-1/2 cups
1 spring onion, or 2 green onions, chopped, about 1/2 cup
1 tsp. fresh thyme or thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3 stalks celery, chopped, about 1 cup
3 carrots, chopped, about 1 cup
2 cloves garlic, minced, about 1 tsp
1 quart low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 Tbs. tomato paste
2 cooked chicken sausages, sliced
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs. red wine
1/2 tsp. sea salt, or more to taste
1/2 tsp. black pepper


Place the lentils in a saucepan with the hot water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes until just tender. Prepare the vegetables while the lentils cook. Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot large enough to hold the soup. Add the onions, along with the thyme and cumin and cook until the onions begin to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add some water if the onions begin to stick. Add the celery, carrots, and garlic and cook another 5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the broth and tomato paste and bring to a low simmer. Add the lentils, along with their cooking water, when they are cooked. Add the chicken sausages, along with the vinegar and wine. Adjust the seasoning by tasting and adding salt and pepper to your liking.

Serves 4-6

Stealthy Cooking Tip: I've added a small amount of chicken sausage to make this soup more appealing to my meat lovers. Chicken sausage itself is a healthy alternative to more fatty Italian pork sausages. Slice the sausage, heat it in the microwave for 1 minute, then drain off the accumulated fat to make this even healthier. 

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