Eat Your Greens!

If my greens look like this, then no problem.

Last night after devouring the latest Donna Hay magazine—always a mouth watering experience—I realized that I just couldn’t settle for the same old meals in my recipe rotation. So I dug further into my food vault and came up with this: Lentil, Kale and Sausage Soup (thanks again, Chatelaine!). A recipe, like many, that looked interesting enough to rip out and keep but never quite made it into the kitchen. Well, tonight’s the night! Or I should say, last night was the night!

This recipe is easy, has few ingredients, and doesn’t require a long simmer to develop its rich, rustic flavour. That being said, I am dying to try it tonight, after it’s been left to sit and develop overnight.

The kale is earthy and strong, and the lentils provide a thick, satisfying mouthfeel.  The sausages add just enough full, spicy flavour without salting the broth too heavily and the coriander rounds it all out, lifting up the dish with its fresh bright aroma.

I enjoyed this soup with a hunk of baguette and a nice Chianti. It was magnificent. This would be a great dish for any cold night of winter, or even an easy option for last minute guests that stop by on a weeknight.

Lentil, Kale & Sausage Soup
Prep 10 min; Total 35 min

2 tbsp olive oil
2 Italian Sausages (I used mild Chorizo as it’s all that was available)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 leek (white part only), sliced
3 carrots, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
156-mL can tomato paste
1 tsp ground coriander (I used about 1/4 cup fresh coriander)
1 tsp salt
8 cups chopped kale leaves, about 1 small bunch
540-mL can lentils, rinsed and drained
grated parmesan cheese (optional)  Cheese is never optional in my book, but do as you wish
4 cups water

Heat a large, wide saucepan over medium. Add oil, then sausages. Turn sausages occasionally until they lose their pink colour, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove to a plate. Add onion, leek, carrots and garlic to pan. Cook until onion starts to soften, about 3 min.  Meanwhile, thinly slice sausages.  Stir in tomato paste, coriander (I waited until the end, using fresh), salt and sausages, including any juices. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until flavour develops, 5 more min. Pour in 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Stir in kale and reduce heat to medium.  Cover and gently boil, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 5 to 7 min.  Stir in lentils.  If soup is too thick, stir in more water. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Chatelaine, Feb 2011.

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