Thursday, June 26, 2008

Quick and Easy Lentil Stew

I decided the other night that I wanted to have lentil soup for dinner. I had some polska kielbasa in the fridge and was in the mood for something rich, hearty and satisfying. I had planned on searching the web for some fabulous recipe that everyone raved about, but ended up too dang lazy to even do that, so I improvised. What I came up with was a hit with the whole family and even with my daughter's friend who happened to be dining with us. Here's what I did:

Lentil Soup on the Fly

Sauté in a big pot (make sure it is big, I ended up switching to a bigger pot half way through):

Olive oil (about 2 TBS?)
chopped onion
chopped carrot
(I would have added chopped celery if I'd had any but we were out)

When the onion is translucent and the carrots are looking slightly cooked, add:

8 c. chicken stock (I used water and chicken bullion, don't judge me)
1 can chopped tomatoes
1/2 c. pearl barley
1 c. lentils

Bring to a boil and cook for about 40 minutes or until the barley and lentils are tender. You could go do something else, or chop some lettuce for salad, or mix up a batch of biscuits or cornbread, or whatever. When the lentils are tender add:

chopped up sausage, ham or whatever you have on hand. You could add the meat earlier but I have a vegetarian and I took out a bowl for her before I added the meat (she will eat chicken so the broth was ok). We served this with breadsticks and fruit.

  • I used polska kielbasa and it was fabulous. I get it at Costco and repackage it into meal-sized packages and freeze it. We like polska kielbasa in our red beans and rice and a few other things so I try to keep some in the freezer and Costco is cheap.
  • This was even better the second day as leftovers. Yum!
  • You can adjust the amount of water to feed a bigger family (or smaller)
  • I was going to add some shredded cabbage but forgot. It would probably be a good addition.
  • The one thing I would for sure do different next time is I would blend the can of tomatoes in my Magic Bullet. My son doesn't like tomatoes and whined about having to pick them out. The soup needs the flavor, though. Next time I'd just puree it and add it to the soup, then little boy wouldn't complain!


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