Sausage and Lentil Soup ~ Robust and hearty, lentils, kale, sausage, and mushrooms in a drinkable broth made aromatic from fennel and oregano.I love food. I am a home cook. I am a food blogger or the fancy term we like to use is a recipe developer. I am not a professional chef. I have not been to culinary school. I have never worked in the back of the house (at a restaurant, meaning in the kitchen), unless we count fast food, and WE DO NOT COUNT FAST FOOD. 🙂
My skills in the kitchen are from hours and hours of watching my grandmothers and my stepmom. My skills came from starting to cook at age 11. My skills were enhanced from reading cookbooks like the latest best seller. My skills were honed deeper by watching endless hours of cooking programs on TV. And then there’s the passion. It’s my creative outlet. I mean do not give me paint brush, a musical instrument or ask me to sing, you will regret that. But cooking (and writing, photography), that is where my creative expression and passion comes out.
My palate grew, ironically, after I had gastric bypass. I had to walk away from all the foods that I consumed that led to my morbid obesity. I had no choice but to become acquainted with vegetables I had never heard of. I was forced to learn to like leaner meats (yes, I am aware that there is sausage in this recipe, which is by no means a lean meat-ha!) I became more adventurous in the kitchen due to my loving food–the wrong kinds of food.
But despite all this, there is so much I still don’t know about food. There are so many foods I have yet to try, from spices to seafood and everything in between. My blog is “The Complete Savorist” so as my name implies, I savor all foods completely. But this isn’t true. It’s not possible. But I want to, or die trying, the world’s food are vast. But whatever foods I am eating, I do want to savor them completely.
My blog is about my adventures in the kitchen (and the occasional misadventure). I want to explore the world’s cuisine. I try to eat healthy, but I do indulge from time to time (check out the pasta/noodle, Italian, and the desserts categories). I want to learn and grow as a home cook. So I’ve decided from time to time, I want to pick an ingredient I am mostly (or wholly) unfamiliar with and learn about it, cook with it. This is the first post having such an adventure. I started with something easy. Fennel seed. It’s in my spice cupboard. Not really sure when I purchased it. But I never use fennel in anything. I’ve had raw fennel in salads and enjoy it. But the seeds, they just take up prime real estate in my tiny spice cabinet.
Thus this Sausage and Lentil Soup was born. Italian sausage already has fennel, so what happens when I add more? Well, let me tell you, when I added more, it was delicious. I played with this soup and am loving the results. I used some ingredients I was already familiar with, kale, sausage, lentils and played with fennel as my main seasoning/spice. I made a large pot of this, as I have still yet to figure out how to cook small, but I enjoyed eating it for days.
Sausage and Lentil Soup
- 1-16 oz pkg Italian sausage; casings removed.
- 1 medium onion; diced
- 2 celery ribs; diced
- 1/2 cup carrots , grated or chopped matchsticks
- 8 oz . mushrooms; chopped
- 1 1/2 cup lentils; picked , rinsed, and drained
- 10 cups water/broth or some combination thereof
- 4 cloves garlic; minced/grated
- 3 tbsp . red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp . fennel seed; ground with mortar and pestle
- 1 tsp . oregano
- 1/4 tsp . salt; +/- to taste
- 1/4 tsp . pepper; +/- to taste
- 1 bunch kale; de-stemmed and torn
- Extra virgin olive oil
In a large pot or Dutch/French oven, brown the sausage crumbles.
Once cooked, drain the rendered fat and set the sausage aside.
Add olive oil if needed to the pot, and sauté the garlic, onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms on medium high heat. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until veggies begin to soften.
Add the fennel seed to a mortar and pestle (or a zip close bag) and crush the seeds.
Add the salt, pepper, fennel, and oregano; stir well.
Once they bloom or become fragrant, add the lentils, mix well.
Pour the water/broth in and mix well. Return the sausage to the pot and add the vinegar.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
Once the lentils are cooked, add the kale pieces to the soup, cook for 2 minutes and serve.