Adapted from Barefoot in Paris (Ina Garten)
½ lb lentils
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Several springs fresh thyme leaves
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 lb baby carrots, chopped
1 quart chicken stock
¼ cup tomato paste
1 lb turkey kielbasa, cut in half and sliced
1. I rinsed and sorted the lentils, cleaning out any shriveled lentils or rocks. I placed them in a bowl and covered the lentils with boiling water, allowing them to sit for about 15 minutes
2. Meanwhile I heated the oil up in the bottom of a stockpot and added the onions, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, and thyme. I sautéed them over medium heat until the onions were translucent. At that point I added the carrots and celery and stirred, allowing them to cook for about 10 minutes.
3. I added the lentils, chicken stock, and tomato paste, stirring and bringing to a boil. I covered and simmered for an hour to cook the lentils thoroughly. At that point I added the kielbasa and allowed it to simmer for a few more minutes until heated through.
I have never made this particular soup, but I had it several years ago while visiting my cousin and her family in South Bend. Good memories of fun times with extended family and a realization that Barefoot Contessa‘s recipes were actually do-able for us mortal folk. Luckily, she warned me that it feeds quite the crowd, so this was my attempt at modifying and halving the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe to make a dinner for a cold rainy night and lunch for a snowy week at work. It was great - super hearty and filling and smelled amazing before eating this. I really do love soup at this time of year. Being in a land where winter is real is making my love for soup even deeper. I’m pretty sure it is not just a passing fancy since it seems to have spanned a few years now J
BTW…Barefoot Contessa recommends 1 tbl freshly chopped thyme leaves for double this amount of soup. I actually just put in a bunch of sprigs and remove the stems before serving. Also, she chops her veggies up pretty small to be closer in size to the lentils whereas I like to leave my veggies chunky, I enjoy the texture and juxtoposition of the large veggies and the little lentils.
Um yeah, I repeat. Great soup. Filling. Full of lentil fiber goodness. And flavor
BTW…I was trying to explain what lentils were to my mom, including what they taste like. Any suggestions as to how you would describe them besides merely fiber filled goodness?
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