Recipe: Sausage and Lentil Stew
To celebrate Halloween and the Winter season here (it’s been under 100 degrees for 7 straight days!), my office organized a soup contest for yesterday. Nothing says Fall and Winter in Phoenix like hearty soups and stews (and daytime temperatures under 100 degrees).
I originally intended to make chili, but by the time I sent my acknowledgement e-mail in, chili was already taken. So I decided to try a recipe I’d had in my “I should try this” file for a while, Sausage and Lentil Stew, from simplyrecipes.com.
This is the perfect kind of recipe for me. There are enough easy steps that you feel like you’re actually cooking, but nothing hard enough to screw up badly. The majority of the actual cooking happens in a crock-pot (or in a large pot on your stove, if you prefer) and fills the house with delicious cooking smells while the magic happens.
There should be another picture showing this served correctly in a bowl, but this crock-pot went directly to the soup-off, where it was completely consumed by an apparently appreciative crew of engineers and computer hacks, who also ate just about everything else put in front of them.
|Sausage and Lentil Stew|
- 1/3 lb. thick-sliced bacon, cut cross-wise into 1/4 pieces.
- 1/2 lb. spicy Italian sausage
- 1 lb. red, brown, or green lentils, rinsed
- 3 large carrots, diced
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 large ribs of celery, diced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 3 cups water
- 2-3 tsp. Chipotle chili in adobo, minced
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 bay leaf
- Cook the bacon in a large pot over medium heat until the fat renders and the bacon is browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a paper towel to drain.
- Turn the heat up to medium high and brown the sausages on all sides until mostly cooked. Remove to a paper towel to cool.
- Pour off all but 2T of bacon fat. Add diced vegetables and cumin to the pot and saute, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and saute a couple minutes, until fragrant.
- Add bacon, lentils, stock, water, salt, and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Stir frequently, scraping the brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Reduce heat to a simmer (or transfer to a crock-pot on “low”) and cook until lentils are softened, 40 minutes or more.
- Slice reserved sausage into bite-sized pieces and add to the pot, along with minced Chipotle. Stir to combine. Cook until heated through.
Rating: This gets a solid 5 out of 5 pints of Kiltlifter. It’s just about Nature’s perfect food, since it has bacon, spicy sausage, Chipotle chili, and even vegetables. The only improvement I can imagine is somehow finding a way to serve it on a stick like a corn-dog (Nature’s real perfect food).