Thursday, December 22, 2005

Inspired by Farmgirl's Lentil Soup Recipe and Goodbye to Steve

It's always sad when you have to say goodbye to someone you really enjoyed having in your life. That happened to me recently when my next door neighbor Steve decided to leave Salt Lake for some new adventures in life. Steve was a great guy, charming, intelligent, and friendly, the perfect neighbor, and someone I will really miss talking to.

I live on a street where a lot of like-minded people enjoy each other's company, and I seriously doubt if Steve really had any idea how much everyone in the neighborhood loved having him around. He had a party to say goodbye on the day he closed on the sale of his house, and pretty much everyone in the neighborhood showed up. I made a double batch of this lentil soup for that party, inspired by a great lentil soup recipe from Farmgirl. Farmgirl said she would not mind a bit if I called my version Steve's Lentil Soup, so that whenever I see this recipe I can remember what a great friend he was.

Steve's Lentil Soup
(Makes 6-8 servings, inspired by Farmgirl's Lentil Soup with slight adaptations.)

Ingredients:
1 pkg. (14 oz.) smoked turkey kielbasa or turkey sausage
1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1 T finely chopped garlic (or use 2 tsp. garlic powder and add with liquid ingredients.)
1 cup lentils
1 can tomatoes, pureed in blender
3 cans water (use the can from the tomatoes)
2 T chicken soup base (Better than Bouillon brand is good)
1/4 cup dried parsley or 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 T sweet paprika (I used Penzeys)
1 tsp. smoked paprika
salt/pepper to taste
fresh chopped parsley for serving if available

Instructions:
Cut sausage in 1/2 inch slices, heat olive oil in large heavy soup pot, and saute sausage until well browned. Don't rush, this may take 8-10 minutes to get a good browning on both sides. Remove sausage and let cool.

In same pot, saute onions and carrots 3-5 minutes, adding more olive oil if needed and scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits of sausage that remain. (If using fresh garlic, add at this point and saute 2 minutes more.)

Add lentils, pureed tomatoes, water, and chicken soup base, and cook 20-30 minutes on low simmer. (If using garlic powder, add with these ingredients.)

Cut browned sausage pieces into half moons and add with parsley, cumin, sweet paprika, and smoked paprika, and cook one hour or longer. You will probably need to add more water several times during this cooking time. I like to cook it until most of the lentils have disintegrated into the soup. (If desired you can remove some of the lentils without any sausage pieces and puree in a food processor or with an immersion blender. I've made this twice, and one time I did that and the other time I didn't and it didn't seem to make a great deal of difference.)

Season the soup with salt and pepper as desired. (It will not need a great deal of salt.) Serve with chopped fresh parsley as a garnish if available.


South Beach Suggestions:
This could be made lower in carbs by increasing the amount of sausage in proportion to the other ingredients, but lentils, carrots, and onions are all considered "good" carbs on the South Beach Diet. This soup would be phase 2 as written, or phase 1 without the carrots.

If you're a regular reader, I'm going to do my Weekend Herb Blogging #12 post on Friday this weekend, with a fun little item that was actually a gift from one of my students! Then for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I'm going to bring you my Surprise Christmas Message. Don't forget to check back for that.
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5 comments:

  1. This is one delicious looking lentil soup! We love lentil soup in Panama...We add green plantain to them too. Many hugs & Felices Fiestas :)

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  2. I'm not even a huge fan of lentil soup but I think I might be changing my tune... that soup looks absolutely scrumptious!

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  3. Hey Kalyn, just wanted to drop a note to say thanks for your comment. Also, I've never done the weekend herb blogging thing before. Can I use a Chinese medicinal herb? Thanks!

    And I've always loved lentil soup. Yours looks so yummy!

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  4. Oh! This looks good! Best wishes to you and your friend who's moving.

    Paz

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  5. Ok, I have strep and was craving soup. It was seriously the best soup I have ever tasted. It is filling, and irresistable!!

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