Lentil Sausage Soup

based on a recipe from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa

  • 1 lb dry lentils
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cups diced yellow onions (about 3 medium)
  • 4 cups chopped leeks – white and light green parts only (2 to 3 leeks)
  • 1 Tbs minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tbs freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs minced fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dry thyme or Italian seasoning)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 cups medium diced celery
  • 3 cups medium diced carrots
  • 3 quarts chicken broth or stock
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 lb kielbasa – cut in 1/2 lengthwise and sliced 1/3-inch thick
  • 2 Tbs dry red wine or red wine vinegar
  • Freshly grated Parmesan – for serving

Pick over lentils (always check your dry legumes for pebbles and other foreign bits), rinse thoroughly and set aside.

In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onions, leeks, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent and tender. Add the celery and carrots and saute for another 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, and lentils, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, or until the lentils are cooked through and tender. Check the seasonings. Add the kielbasa and red wine and simmer until the kielbasa is hot. Serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan.

Servings: 10-12, Yield: 4 quarts