Lentil sausage soup

  • Preparation Time15 mins
  • Cooking Time90 mins
  • DifficultyEasy
450g French green lentils (recommended: du Puy)
65ml olive oil, plus extra for serving
400g diced yellow onions (3 large)
400g chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (2 leeks)
1 Tbsp minced garlic (2 large cloves)
1 Tbsp salt
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves
300g medium diced celery (8 sticks)
300g medium diced carrots (4 to 6 carrots)
1 tsp ground cumin
3.3L homemade chicken stock, recipe follows, or from a stock cube
65g tomato puree
450g kielbasa, cut in half lengthways and sliced 1cm thick
30ml dry red wine or red wine vinegar
Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

For the homemade chicken stock

3 (2.25kg) chickens
3 large onions, unpeeled and quartered
6 carrots, unpeeled and halved
4 celery stalks with leaves, cut in thirds
4 parsnips, unpeeled and cut in 1/2, optional
20 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
15 sprigs fresh thyme
20 sprigs fresh dill
1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in half across
2 tbsp salt
2 tsp whole black peppercorns
For the soup:
1) In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 mins. Drain.

2) In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onions, leeks, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent and tender. Add the celery and carrots and saute for another 10 mins. Add the chicken stock, tomato puree, and drained lentils, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for one hour, or until the lentils are cooked through and tender. Check the seasonings. Add the bratwurst and red wine and simmer until the sausage is cooked through. Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.

For the homemade chicken stock:
1) Place the chickens, onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, salt, and peppercorns in a 16 to 20L stockpot with 6.6L of water and bring to a boil. Skim the surface, as needed. Simmer uncovered for 4 hrs. Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander, discarding the chicken and vegetables, and chill. Discard the hardened fat, and then pack the stock in litre containers.

Makes 6 litres.

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