Lentil Sausage and Kale Soup

Happy Tuesday! They announced that school was cancelled last night due to forecasts of “freezing rain” this morning. It has rained most of the day, but it certainly doesn’t appear to be freezing and my drive to the gym this morning was perfectly safe and uneventful (thankfully). I guess the district would rather be safe than sorry and hey, I’m ALWAYS up for a (faux) snow day, especially when it’s announced the night before so I can prepare to sleep in appropriately Smile

I’m not the only one who was excited to have the day off, Renly also enjoys any and every excuse to sleep in. Especially if he is lucky enough to do it in our bed.

 Ren and Robert

In addition to cuddling with Renly since it’s too cold to play outside, I’ve spent my day at home packing, finishing laundry and preparing for the rest of the week. I also FINALLY uploaded our California pictures so those recaps will be coming soon! I leave tomorrow after work for the South Carolina Speech and Hearing Conference in Myrtle Beach. Although the prospect of a solo road trip is not the most heartening, I am excited to learn something new during the sessions and even MORE excited to catch up with my girlfriends from graduate school who will be in attendance. I will return from the conference late Friday evening only to turn around and leave again on Saturday for a wedding. Whew, I’m a little tired just thinking about all that driving!

Anytime I know I will be out of town for a few days, I go on a mission to empty our fridge to the best of my ability. This means I bought limited groceries this week and am making good use of our freezer contents. Robert tends to eat out when I am away unless I leave him leftovers. Since I hate the thought of him eating a sad fast food burger three nights in a row I decided to thaw out some lentil and sausage soup I made a few weeks ago. A few years ago Robert would have turned his nose up at the mere mention of lentils, probably because he wouldn’t have had a clue what they were. Thanks to his green food loving wife (ahem me) his tastes have broadened considerably and he raved about this soup when I made it. This recipe was a “throw everything in the fridge into a pot” experiment that turned out very very right. Fortunately, I jotted down the ingredients after tasting it, unfortunately, I didn’t take any step by step photos because I wasn’t sure it would be share-worthy. But I’m not sure you really need any pictures of diced onions or chopped carrots, those should be pretty self explanatory. If you REALLY need a visual for torn kale, Google image search has some nice options Winking smile

I DID take a picture of the final product…tada!

 Soup 2

This soup was really delicious and is a great introduction to lentils if you or your family have never experienced them. Lentils are low in calories, high in protein and fiber and provide a host of vitamins and nutrients. They are great in soups as their texture is somewhere between rice and pasta. I have made several lentil soups in the past but always blended them (a la split pea soup) but they are quite yummy when left intact. The sausage can easily be omitted if you are a vegetarian, but I think it adds a nice depth of flavor and of course even more protein and staying power to the soup.

 Soup 1

This soup is the perfect tummy warming cure for a false freezing rain or real snow day, try it and enjoy! And most importantly, stay safe and warm out there!

Lentil Sausage and Kale Soup

Ingredients:

1 Cup Lentils (I used Green)

4 Carrots, peeled and diced

1 Bay Leaf

1 tsp. dried Thyme

6 Cups Chicken Stock (or vegetable stock if vegetarian) + 1 Cup Water (optional)

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 Onion, diced

1 tsp. minced garlic

5 Oz. Sausage, browned and crumbled

2 Cups Kale, town

Salt and Pepper

 

Directions:

1. Place lentils, carrots, bay leaf, thyme, stock and water into a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for at least 30-40 minutes (until lentils are tender). Add water if necessary.

2. While lentils are simmering, heat a sauté pan over medium heat and brown sausage. Set sausage aside. Do not wipe pan.

3. Sauté onion in sausage grease (or olive oil if you wiped your pan and or don’t have enough grease) until softened. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute, stirring.

4. Add sausage, onion and kale to soup, season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 10-15 more minutes. Serve and enjoy!

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