I haven’t returned to my blog all week, actually, haven’t cooked anything this past week, having been stuck at work finishing a project, some long hours including weekends for a while. This particular week has been incredibly exhausting, stressful and full of anxiety, but there is a tiny little light at the end of the tunnel and it isn’t an incoming train. Today, I’ve spent most of my day cooking for the week and watching the Academy Awards. I decided to make one of my favorite things to eat, lentil soup, and If my tired brain remembers it well, lentils are probably the first thing I cooked that made me think about actually cooking and not just following a recipe (don’t ask me why). That was a few years ago, and since, I’ve made them in a number of different ways. Tonight I opted for making them in a very simple way, I actually cheated and added Kielbasa sausage, which happens to make anything it’s combined with taste perfectly delicious. Another little twist was to replace carrots in the mirepoix and use turnips instead for a different kind of sweetness, and with the proper amount of acidity in the San Marzano tomatoes and some extra white wine vinegar, well… deep and hearty yumminess.
Makes: 3-4 portions
Active Time: 45 mins
Dutch oven or a stock pot
Sauce pan to par-cook lentils.
1 cup of dried green lentils.
1 medium turnip:medium dice
1 medium onion: medium dice
2 celery stalks: medium dice
2 Kielbasa sausages: cut into 1/2″ rounds
1 big garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/2 can chopped San Marzano Tomatoes
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp coriander seeds powder
White wine vinegar to taste
Maldon Salt to taste
01: soak lentils in water for a an hour or simmer for 10 minutes and rinse.
02: add water, should be twice the height of the lentils, they will absorb it.
02: cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes, depends on the lentils.
03: reserve with its water.
01: heat up olive oil in pot, medium heat.
02: brown turnips, reserve.
03: brown sausage, reserve.
04: sweat onions and celery.
05: add tomatoes and cook until slightly caramelized.
06: return turnips and sausage into pot. Cook for a few more minutes.
07: add garlic and let cook for a minute.
08: add salt and vinegar and adjust until happy.
09: add coriander powder.
10: bring lentils into the pot and keep cooking until tender. ~5 min.
11: taste and adjust saltiness and acidity again.
A few things about lentils:
Cooking them partially by themselves in plain water will ensure that the skins don’t harden in the presence of salt or acids, we still want to finish the cooking process in the main stock, but towards the end.
Al dente lentils don’t release their awesome flavor, make sure they get pretty tender but not as much as baby food.. which really isn’t a bad thing either. I personally don’t mind that texture.