Lentil Soup with Smoked Sausage
- SERVINGS: 4
This hearty soup, with its lentils and sausage, seems made for savory. For a special version, use imported Vertes du Puy lentils, which have a rich, earthy flavor. A firm whole-grain bread would be ideal alongside.
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 pound lentils (about 2 1/3 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups drained canned diced tomatoes (one 15-ounce can)
- 2 1/2 quarts water, more if needed
- 4 teaspoons dried summer savory, or 1/4 cup chopped fresh savory
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1/2 pound kielbasa or other smoked sausage
- In a large pot, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the celery, onion, and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the lentils, tomatoes, water, dried savory, if using, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and cook, partially covered, until the lentils are tender, about 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick frying pan over moderately high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning, until browned, about 3 minutes in all. Remove. When the sausage is cool enough to handle, cut it crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
- Stir the sausage and fresh savory, if using, into the soup and simmer it for 5 minutes longer. Remove the bay leaf. If the soup is too thick for your taste, thin it with additional water.
The inexpensive red wines called Côtes-du-Rhône—from a district of the same name in the south of France—tend to have earthy and spicy flavors that will nicely balance those of the lentils and sausages.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.