Thanksgiving weekend felt like a game of musical chairs. We had visitors every day, most of them included overnight guests, and a gaggle of children. Even one such as I needed to take a break from cooking and yet it was Sunday, the one evening when it is blasphemy in our household not to have a family centered meal cooked right from the scratch. It is not a day when take outs suffice. After some contemplation, I decided to create something out of what I had on hand, a refrigerator cleaning exercise of sorts.
This year, I had somewhat scaled down my Thanksgiving cooking, and was pleased with the fact that I did not end up with shelves full of food. Sure there was some, including the obligatory leftover turkey which I had managed to finish making sandwiches and a turkey noodle soup for the gaggle of children. What I was looking at was a golden beet, a couple of tomatoes and some carrots. I decided to mesh this with some spicy andouile sausage to put together a satisfying lentil soup. It was a soup that cooked low and slow for a couple of hours with the rich deep flavors developing as it cooked. My beet did loose it’s color while cooking but otherwise we had a robust and satisfying meal. The spices from the sausages meshed with the few other freshly ground spices and cinnamon quills that I had added to create a dish that was perfect for a winter Sunday.
This soup will be bound to make a re-appearance in the cold and snowy winter days, so if you love soups with some character you should bookmark this recipe. It works well in a slow cooker as well, in fact, I have some simmering as we speak as tomorrow is quite a busy day! Nothing like coming home to a ready made nourishing dinner that is all ready and good to go!
A hearty and nourishing lentil soup that is perfect to beat the winter chills.
- 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 pods of garlic
- 1 medium sized onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 cup of brown lentils
- 6 cups water
- 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 11/2 cups chopped sausage
- 1 2 inch stick cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice (1 medium sized lime)
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Heat the oil and add in the garlic and the onion and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onions soften, wilt and begin to turn gently golden.
- Add in the ginger and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes.
- Add in the lentils and the water and the salt.
- Stir in the carrots and the sausage and the cinnamon simmer the lentils on low heat for 2 hours until the lentils are soft and the soup is thick.
- Stir in the lime juice and the cilantro and serve hot.