This hearty lentil soup packs a ton of kale and other veggies with a punch of flavor from spicy sausage (or chickpeas).
And now, the frighteningly true tale of how this post came to be (no, seriously, I wish I was making this up).
I started off with good intentions. I was successfully ignoring the hunger pangs and MUST.EAT.NOW. signals my stomach was sending to my brain.
I managed to get lentil soup into these two bowls with minimal spoonfuls being snuck into my mouth.
Then I remembered that the Big Girl had eaten her portion of soup at lunch by using the bread as her scooping vessel. Back to the kitchen I go to retrieve two slices of toasted, crusty bread, careful to not eat any because the loaf is coming to an end. God forbid something happen to one of the pieces of bread (a swarm of ants running off with it? spontaneous mold growth?) and I don’t have enough left to take adequate pictures with.
So Photo #1 was successfully taken.
Then, I thought, “If I pick up the piece of bread, you can see the texture of the lentils better. I should do that.”
So Photo #2 was taken.
But don’t ya know it, as soon as the photo was taken, the bread was left hanging mere inches from my mouth, and my brain saw it and screamed, “CARRRRRRRRBBBBBBBSSSSS!!!” And like Andrew Zimmern at a cricket-based food truck, I bit in.
“I’ll just put the bitten off part in the soup,” I reasoned. “It would just get soggy in there anyways!”
That’s how Photo #3 was born.
But Pandora’s box had been opened, and soon I was reaching for the spoon.
“Seriously, no one will notice if I take a bite or two… especially from this back bowl. It’s the one that’s never in focus anyways! I’m so clever.”
*Spoon approaches open mouth*
“WAIT! You could get yet another picture of the texture of lentil soup… but this time from a spoon! Genius!”
And so Photo #4, with all its carrot and kale detail, was taken… and promptly consumed.
And at this point, dear friends, things got kind of ugly.
I consumed spicy sausage hunks and mounds of lentils while double-fisting the bread and spoon. The camera swung wildly from my neck by the strap I had wisely secured there as I leaned over my set up, voraciously devouring the little legumes. With reckless abandon, the back bowl began to vanish.
“But plenty of food bloggers show their dishes half-eaten,” I reasoned, as I dribbled some soup down the side of the bowl (which I also reasoned was completely ok, because plenty of people actually exert effort to get those kinds of dribbles, and mine had just happened naturally).
And so Photo #5 became proof that the soup is indeed edible.
And then, like any good camera-wielding blogger, I reasoned my last bit of reason: “When in doubt, just take a real close-up picture and hope no one asks too many questions.”
With that Photo #6 made its way onto my memory card, and a sigh of relief escaped my (now-less-so-but-still-considerably) hungry body as I untethered the camera from my neck and attacked my now-actually-consumable soup with a shiny, blunt instrument.
Aren’t you glad you don’t have to stare longingly at your soup once it’s made?
- 1 lb. sausage (I used spicy Italian chicken sausage; or use chickpeas for vegetarian/vegan soup)
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ tbsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1¾ cup French green lentils, rinsed
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1 sprig rosemary leaves
- 2½ cups thinly chopped kale (remove center veins and stems)
- Cook sausage in a large stock pot over medium high heat. Remove sausage from pot and set aside, but leave any grease in the bottom of the pot.
- Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic to stock pot. Stir until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes, then add cumin and nutmeg and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add lentils, stock, water, tomatoes, and rosemary and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cook about 10 minutes, then add kale.
- Continue simmering the soup until lentils are cooked and kale is fully wilted, about 10 more minutes. Add sausage and check seasoning, adding salt if necessary.
- Consume with reckless abandon!
This post is adapted from Food52.