When I am sick with a cold, I love to eat soup. Not just any soup. I enjoy a hearty, warm, and soul comforting soup. Sinus congestion makes it a little difficult to breathe through my nostrils, so there is nothing like hot soup to keep everything flowing. Not to gross you out. When ever I bring out the red pot my husband knows what time it is: It’s soup time!
My red soup pot is out and ready!! So I am posting this recipe for Lentil soup. This recipe was adapted from an episode of Barefoot Contessa. This post is going to be a bit of challenge for me. I love to cook. But cooking for me is about trial and error. A sprinkle of this, a dash of little of that, and a whole lot of love. Then of course I have to taste my creation. And if it’s not right, I add more of whatever my tastebuds tell me. Usually it’s more garlic. Anyway, even if I am following a recipe, I really like to make the recipe my own my adding my own measurements based on my own taste buds. Unless of course I am baking, then I am pretty rigid with the recipe. Well, that’s not totally true, I alter baking recipes as well!! Okay, let me get back on track, so here we go.
So I start by making my own chicken stock. Yes, you can use the store bought stuff if you are short on time. But, try making this at the start of your week, when you are preparing for the week. That way you can throw all of the ingredients into the pot and go about your day. For me, my prep day is Thursday, because my work “week” begins on a Friday.
Chicken Stock Ingredients:
- boneless skinless organic chicken thighs
- organic carrots
- organic celery
- organic garlic
- Fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage
- organic onions
- salt & pepper to taste
- water (about 10 cups)
- Garlic and onion powder (about 1-2 tsp of each) (optional)
I do a rough chop of the veggies before I throw them in the pot. No need for a fine chop here, I’ll save that for later. Simmer all ingredients together. I usually let it simmer for about 2 hours. Separate the veggies and the chicken and place stock aside in a bowl. STOP and TASTE the broth. I usually add more seasoning to taste including a spoonful of Organic Better than Buillion chicken flavor. Yummy!
Now on to the Lentil Soup ingredients:
- Organic Leeks
- Organic Onions
- Organic Carrots
- Organic Celery
- Organic Kale
- Organic Lentils
- Smoked Turkey Sausage
- Olive Oil
After chopping up the leeks it’s time to rinse them throughly. Leeks have dirt in between the layers, so this is an important step! There is nothing worse than having a little dirt in your soup! Fill a bowl with cold water. Place leeks in the bowl and drain in a colander. I usually do this about 3 times.
Next, I place enough Olive Oil in my little red pot. Again, not sure how much, but just enough to coat the bottom of the pot. Next, I place the washed leeks in the pot, followed by the onions and garlic. Sauté until slightly softened. At this point, my mouth is watering from the aroma in the kitchen!
Now it’s time for everyone in the pool. Well not quite everyone, I leave out the turkey sausage until the last half hour. Otherwise it goes from being tender and flavorful to chewy and bland. No one wants bland and chewy sausage. Or you could skip the sausage all together! Okay back to the task at hand, place the diced celery, lentils and diced carrots into the pot along with chicken stock. Cover and let simmer on low for about one and a half to two hours. Cook until the lentils are soft, but not mushy!
STOP and TASTE the soup!! Let it talk to you and tell you what it needs according to your tastebuds! Maybe a little red pepper flakes for a little heat? Maybe a little cinnamon for a little warmth. But HOLD on adding salt until the turkey sausage cooks in the broth. You may not need to add more salt! Okay back to the soup, add the kale and the turkey sausage during the last half hour of simmering. Or skip the turkey sausage all together!
The end result is a warm and comforting soup that you can eat for the next few days until your cold is better. Try serving it over hot brown rice, with a cornbread muffin or multigrain roll. My preference is the cornbread muffin!
P.S. You don’t have to wait to be sick in order to make this recipe, it tastes even better without the runny nose!