Lentil & Sausage Soup


Lentil and Sausage Soup

Fall is peaking through here on the West Coast State of California. Though we still have days of 85 degree temperatures and experience the flash of heat know as Indian Summer, our evenings are cooler and the tree's are beginning to glow with burgundy red, orange and yellow. It's always been my favorite time of year! For some it's the beginning of winter when melodious carols roll off the tongue and favorite tunes hit the radios, but for me it's the ushering in of a cooler season which promotes beautiful growth of apples, pumpkins, pomegranates and persimmons, the sweet smell of spice and the cheery warmth of a hearth glowing with happy faces sipping hot spiced cider and whipped cream topped cocoa. Soups abound at our house starting about now. I have been drooling at all the wonderful recipes from my favorite sites, taking notes and tagging recipes that I hope to try. But there are still the favorite recipes handed down from mom and created by family members which some have traveled the continents to come back with only a degree of a difference and maybe just a slight hand of alteration in ingredients. It's so fun to look at ancient recipes noting even the change in vernacular. This lentil soup recipe is so simple but hearty and delicious. In the Italian tradition many of our soups and stews as well as other tasty concoctions start with a Soffritto, a term used to describe a marriage of three, but literally sotto friggere a "sub-frying" or "under-frying" (sauté) of onion, carrots and celery (odori). This is the Italian form, whereas in France they call it Mirepoix and Spain a Sofrito. To get an adequate soffritto you aren't limited to onion, carrots and celery, I often include garlic or shallots as well as replacing the celery with fennel bulb. My preference! But this is the base to a good soup, stew or sauce.

Soffritto Recipe
1 large flavorful onion (in this soup I used cipollini) 2 large carrots 2 ribs of celery with their leaves or 1 celery and 1 fennel stalk 3 Tbs. or more of good extra virgin olive oil (it shouldn't be too dry) 1 Tbs. butter Finely chop all ingredients. Heat pan, add oil and butter,then add ingredients and sauté on low heat until soft and just turning color), about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Spicy Lentil and Sausage Soup
I bag dry lentils picked through and cleaned 3 1/2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock 1 recipe Soffritto (above) 1 Pkg. Spicy Italian Sausage (sweet, medium, chicken.. it's all o.k.) 2 Zucchini cut in to small chunks 1 cup dry white wine *Freshly Ground Black Pepper *Red pepper flakes to taste 2 Fresh Thyme Sprigs 3 Fresh Sage leaves **2 tsp. Beurre Manie Good Quality Parmigianno Regiano Cheese Directions In separate pan brown the sausage, when done slice to 1/4 inch thickness. Set aside. Make Soffritto in the soup stock pot. Add the stock and simmer. Add the cleaned lentils plus the sausage. Cook till lentils are tender. Add the chopped zucchini, thinly sliced herbs and the white wine. Add freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. *Depending on the sausage you use, you may need a very small amount of heat. (pepper) That's why you add your seasonings at the end of cooking process. Cook for around 12 more minutes. **This is where you use your cooking intuition, if you would like a thicker soup add a few teaspoons of beurre manie. I don't always do this, I allow my lentils to break down enough to thicken my soup so as not to add too much more fat and starch. But when I do want a thicker soup I often add the Beurre Manie.

 

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

This looks perfect for the weather here. Just starting to get cool..

The Blonde Duck said...

I love me a good lentil soup! And that looks like a good lentil soup!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Hi Laurie, This is hands down, in my top 5 of favorite soups!! I love the spicy sausage in it too. I wish I could stick a spoon in yours right now!

Jo said...

The soup looks yummy on a cold day. All you'll need is a crusty loaf of bread.

Vera said...

It looks so comforting! Perfect, Laurie!

Anonymous said...

Good job on this Laurie! I love this soup too!! And Fall is my favorite season. Sweater weather :)

a.o. said...

I love this blog! So fragant of fresh herbs. I had my lentils soup yesterday: lentils, leeks and pancetta.
Ciao Laurie,
a presto
a.o.

laGallinainCucina said...

Wow, I love it sooooo much!
Usually a make Lentil con Cotechino (sausage) for a New Year's Day it's a good luck!
But in all winter it's fine.
Ciao

Lore said...

The soup looks really delicious! I think sausages have a way of turning any dish into confy food.

celine said...

Yes I know today is October 22 and it is still in th high 80's...I am craving for hearty soups, warm scarves, mitten, hot cocoa, fireplaces, stews....
Great soup looks so yummy...can I can over and try it?

Rico said...

I just love this king of country foods ....peas and sausage like peperoni is just out of this world.

http://ricocoffeeshop.blogspot.com

Pat said...

Hello again laurie

And of course I had to look at your recipe for delicious lentil soup! I love to serve mine with Parmigianno Regiano Cheese, too! Someday I'll try substituing fennel for the celery as see how that tates. Thanks!