My mom made up this recipe for the day we brought Heart home from the hospital on March 23, 2012. Heart was born on March 20, 2012 in Houston, weighing 7lbs, 1 oz. I don’t normally condone pan cleaning during a recipe. But in this case, the compartmentalization of the different elements give this soup a clean, composed, and rich flavor. The lemon juice at the end gives it a little bit of brightness. At my house this is hands down… our favorite soup.
1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for serving
1 very large diced sweet white onion (1/4 cup reserved)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 large cloves)
5 stalks sliced celery
6 large diced carrots
1 pound hot Italian sausage (remove from casing and pinch into bite-sized servings).
1 pound lentils
6 cups chicken stock
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves
¾ tsp ground cumin
2 bay leaves
½ tsp oregano
1 carrot cut into large slices
1 stalk celery cut into large slices
1 half onion peeled
1 ½ cups baby kale or spinach (add just before serving)
Saute the first 5 ingredients in a large Dutch oven for about 10 min. until softened. Onion will be transulcent. Remove from pan and place in bowl.
Place the sausage in the Dutch oven with 2 T. olive oil and cook until done. Remove from pan and set aside. Clean the pan.
Combine lentils, stock, and remaining ingredients into the Dutch oven. Cook until lentils are nearly soft. Remove chunks of vegetables. Add in sautéed vegetables, and continue to slowly cook until tender. Add sausage and kale; continue to cook for just a few minutes until kale is wilted. Serve with a splash of lemon juice and freshly grated Parmesan. Serve with warm bread and salted butter.