Monday, October 7, 2013

Lentils and Kale Soup

My daughter-in-law gave me a huge soup bone and I've decided I'm making beef broth for my lentil soup and then I will share the bones with the dogs.  

To make a broth, I simply put an onion (cut in half), the soup bone, 2 large carrots, 2 bay leaves, salt and pepper into 2 or 3 quarts of water (depending on how big your bone is) and let it simmer until I've gotten the all of the flavor I can from the bone (meat falling off the bone). I added water because I simmered mine for several hours so had to keep replenishing the water.  You can freeze the broth or use right away. 

I picked the last bit of kale from my garden for the soup. I'm really going healthy today. 

5 links of sweet or mild Italian sausage (take sausage out of casing)
1 package of dried lentils
1 sweet onion
1 tbs. of chopped garlic
2 tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. of Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 cup of chopped fresh kale
1 quart beef broth
Parmesan cheese

Soak the lentils in water over night to soften the lentils (this shortens the cooking time) and then rinse and drain them well. You do not need to soak them, but it will take twice the cooking time so I always soak mine.

Heat your olive oil in a large soup pot.  Add your chopped onion and sauté it over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.   Pinch your sausage out of the casing and break it up into bite size pieces. Brown it in the onion and garlic.  When the sausage is done, drain off any grease through a strainer.  Add the beef broth, salt, and pepper.  Add the drained lentils and chopped kale. I freeze kale as I harvest it and during the winter I use my frozen kale for this soup.

Simmer for an hour or until the lentils are soft.  Make sure there is plenty of broth or liquid on the lentils, sausage and kale mixture.  You can add more broth or water as the soup needs it.  The lentils really soak up the broth.  Test to see if it needs more salt and pepper for seasoning. 

When you serve the soup, you may top it with grated Parmesan cheese. I serve it with crackers or crusty bread to sop up the flavorful broth.

Variation - If you like spicy food you may use hot Italian sausage or add a pinch of pepper flakes to the soup when you first start to simmer it. 

My mother always says that the test of a good soup is if it makes your nose run.  If it runs, it is good soup. See if this passes the test. 

Have a great day, make your dog happy with a soup bone and may God bless you and yours.  

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