Lentil Soup with Sausage and Kale

by Anne Bennett on September 19, 2013

lentil soup 2Yesterday I made a pot of delicious soup, even though the Midwest isn’t cooperating with appropriate weather. Today’s temps will climb to 90 degrees F, not exactly the ideal climate for soup-eating, is it? But the weekend promises to be cooler and we will gladly enjoy our veggie-laden harbinger of fall.

Besides, like most soups, this one is better the next day after the flavors have had time to “marry.” The recipe comes from Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen, and she got it from somewhere else. Good recipes are like that — they tend to circulate, from cookbook to cookbook and around the worldwide web.

Deb uses less sausage than the original recipe; I followed her lead and used turkey sausage in order to keep the soup as healthful as possible. Here’s the way I figure it: why eat kale, one of the most nutritious of all vegetables (that frankly takes a bit of getting used to) if it’s floating in a vat of pork fat? OK, so maybe I’m exaggerating just a wee bit, but you get the point.

When measuring the 6 cups of water called for, Deb recommends using the empty 28-oz. tomato can and filling it almost full twice. Easy, minimizes clean-up and gets all the tasty bits from the tomato can. Go, Deb.

I’ll throw in my 10 cents worth and add that I like only lacinato or dinosaur kale, which has long deep-green leaves that resemble Swiss chard. The regular curly kale doesn’t ever get tender enough for me and is probably responsible for all the kale haters out there. Kale tastes good. I had to be convinced of that fact, but I’m now a loyal member of team-kale.

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 lb. (two links) Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into half-moon slices
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
2 bay leaves
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
6 cups water
1 bunch (4 cups) lacinato kale or Swiss chard, center stems removed and leaves sliced into thin ribbons
Parmesan cheese for serving

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven. Add turkey sausage and brown for about 5 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Add onion, celery, carrots and garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add the lentils, bay leaves, tomatoes, water, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cook until lentils are tender, about 40 minutes. You can add more water if the soup becomes too thick.

When the lentils are cooked, add the kale and continue cooking until the leaves are tender, a few minutes more. Discard bay leaves and serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 6 to 8
WW PP Per serving: 6 or 4

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Laurie September 20, 2013 at 11:44 am

Oh my goodness that looks super good! Do tell where exactly you get this awesome kale you speak of. The last I got was at the Fresh Market in a plastic box like spinach or some lettuces come in . It did not specify the type of kale as you did but the leaves were small tender and “baby” like. We ate every bit of it. It cooked quickly and tasted great, like spinach does, not at all like that nasty tasting curley stuff that is more common. Does Hy-Vee have it? What store/s have what you used?

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