One Pot Stop: Lentil, Kale, and Sausage Soup

Now that it’s December, the snow will soon start falling. It’s been a pretty mild winter I admit, but on those cold winter nights all I want to do is cook up a big pot of hearty soup and cuddle up on the couch. I would rather snuggle near a fire place, but that’s sadly inaccessible to me at college…

I created this recipe to introduce myself to kale. I’d always heard about kale and how nutritious it was — so much fiber and vitamins, but I really didn’t know how to cook with it. Broccoli rabe, collard greens, swiss chard… they all kind of get smooshed together in my head. Anyone else feel like that? I had made kale chips before, but I was too scared to venture out of my comfort zone. Then I had an epiphany: that’s what cooking’s all about! I needed to use my creativity to look at various recipes using kale and make up my own. I combined robust ingredients like kale and lentils that will keep you satisfied. The hot sausage brings out the heat and warms your throat. It’s such a warm and comforting meal. The best thing about this recipe is that you only need one pot. Throw the sausage and vegetables in and let it simmer in some wine and chicken stock and you’re good to go. If you make a huge batch, you can always keep it in the fridge for a couple of days or freeze it too.

Megumi Sasada is the BGSK Ambassador and Small Kitchen College newsletter and article writer. She’s a senior at Colby College in Maine and an avid food-blogging (Every Last Morsel), Food Network-watching, nutrition-conscious acapella singer.

**Recipe**

Lentil, Kale, and Sausage Soup
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 links of hot turkey sausage
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 large carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1/2 cup red wine
3-4 cups chicken stock
1 small bunch kale, washed and cut
1.5 cups uncooked, washed lentils
2 bay leaves
2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
oregano flakes, optional
red pepper flakes, optional

Take the turkey sausage out of its casing and crumble it into a large pot over medium high heat along with garlic. No oil necessary. Cook through completely and add the celery and carrots.  Saute for a couple of minutes.
Add red wine and let the alcohol evaporate for a couple of minutes. Add enough chicken stock to cover the ingredients. Using these liquids, de-glaze the bottom of the pan and scrape up all of the brown bits for maximum flavor.
Add the kale, lentils, bay leaves, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano (if using), and red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust. Simmer for about 30 minutes until lentils are tender.
Serve along with rice or bread. Optional toppings include parmesan cheese, sour cream and fresh herbs.

Originally posted on Monday, December 12th, 2011

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