Considering I haven't posted anything on this blog since Christmas when the dog stepped in the Christmas fudge (that was cooling on the deck) (don't ask), I figured it was high time for me to get back into the swing of things!
Over at Kelly's Korner today, she's asked us to post our favorite soup recipe!
I don't know if I've ever mentioned that I'm a meal planner. I make menus each week, shop according to the menu & what I don't already have on hand. Not only does the meal planning save me money each week at the grocery, but it prevents the age-old question, "what do you want to do for dinner?"
I hate that question!
But one thing I've started to do this winter is Soup Sunday. Each Sunday I make a soup, either in the crock pot or on the stove in my cast iron dutch oven. I have a bunch of go-to-soups that I love.
Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup (SO EASY!!!)
Pasta Fagioli Soup (Big Guy approved--he loves this one)
Taco Soup (I mean, really. How can you go wrong!)
But here is my new favorite soup, that I found in the Rachel Ray cookbook Week in a Day. Lentil, Kale and Sausage soup.
It sounds healthy and very trendy with the kale.
Can I confess something? I had never tasted lentils or kale before making this soup. That was taking a big risk. And if you've never tried either, here's my take on them.
- Lentils: very tiny beans. That's it!
- Kale: No taste. I wouldn't even compare it to spinach, because spinach does have a little bit of a taste to me. But this? No taste at all!
- No need to pre-soak your lentils. Think of lentils like brown rice. It takes about 30 minutes for them to cook and soften up.
- When you cut the kale off the stem, roll up the leaves and cut the roll in half the long way (think of it like a hot dog bun, how it's split down the middle). Then cut each half into small strips. I made a mistake the first time by hand tearing the kale and I had big chunks in the soup. Doing it this way, makes it easier to eat in the end.
- Speaking of Kale, it calls for "black kale". I just bought whatever was at the grocery.
- I used Jennie-O Italian Turkey sausage and just pulled the sausage out of the casing. I've also made this with rope sausage (kielbasa). Either works, but I prefer the sausage.
Rachel Ray's Lentil, Kale and Sausage Soup
from the Week in a Day cookbook
1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 fresh bay leaves
2 stems fresh rosemary
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped
1 potato, peeled and cut into small dice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
A few gratings fresh nutmeg
1/2 cup dry white or red wine
6 cups chicken stock
1 1/4 cups brown lentils
1 bunch black kale, stemmed and chopped
Brown sausage, and add garlic, seasonings, carrot, onion, and potato.
Add tomato paste, wine, and stock. Add in the lentils.
Cover and cook for 35 minutes until lentils are softened.
Stir in chopped kale. Once wilted, it is done!
Top with a little Parmesan cheese.