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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Lentil and Sausage stew

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
As it quickly gets cooler, I start thinking about hearty dishes like this lentil and sausage stew. This serves four, with plenty of leftovers.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cup French green lentils
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons bacon fat
4 good quality sausages
1 large yellow or white onion
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup burgundy
3 stalks of celery, and their leaves if possible
1 tablespoon dried marjoram or an equivalent amount of fresh
5 carrots
4 cups chicken or beef stock
3 tablespoons ketchup
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram
Salt and pepper, to taste
Red wine vinegar, to taste

Procedure
Heat 2 T of bacon fat with one of the bay leaves and gently saute the sliced sausages, remove the sausage slices with a slotted spoon and set them aside. Rinse the lentils in cold water two or three times, pick out any stones or other debris, and put the lentils on the stove in a saucepan with at least three cups of hot water. Stir the lentils and cook them over medium heat, while you chop the vegetables. Be sure to keep an eye on the cooking lentils and stir them occasionally. Add more hot water as they cook, if they start to look dry.

Meanwhile, dice the onions so they are about half-inch square; chop the garlic. Add the remaining oil or bacon fat, as well as the onions and garlic, to the pan in which the sausages were browned; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the onions start to look a bit translucent, push them aside with a spoon and add the wine. Cook for a minute or two to deglaze the pot. Stir the lentils in with the cooking water. It doesn’t matter whether they are cooked. Just add them now, and add the stock. Chop the celery into small dice and chop a small handful of the celery leaves, if you have them; add to the soup. Add the marjoram and stir well, continuing to cook. Cut the carrots into slices or chunks, depending on how thick they are. Add them to the pot, with the reserved sausages, and the salt and pepper to taste, and stir well. longer. Cook for at least another ten minutes, adding more water if necessary and stirring occasionally, to prevent the lentils from sticking. Add the ketchup and stir well. Cook until the carrots are tender.

Test and correct the seasonings. Add the spinach and the parsley. Heat until the soup is very hot. Pass the red wine vinegar separately, for people to add, to taste. Serve with a hearty whole grain bread and fresh butter. Enjoy!!!