After having the artichoke bread on the weekend, I was looking for something a little lighter and a little healthier for lunches during the week. Soups very often fit that bill and I had been thinking of making a lentil soup with winter greens for a while. I have not been doing much with the winter greens lately and I was thinking that some kale would go nicely in a soup or stew. I wanted a little bit of meat in the stew as well and Italian sausage always bring a ton of flavour to soups so they were in. I of course started the soup with the a healthy dose of the basics, diced onions, celery and carrots for even more vegetable goodness. After that it was just a matter of adding the liquid, white wine and chicken stock, and some aromas and flavours in the form of bay leaves, oregano and a splash of balsamic vinegar. (I wanted this to be more of a stew than a soup so I cut back on the amount of liquid that I would have used, but if you want it to be more soup like feel free to add another cup of the chicken stock.) I also happened to have a parmigiano reggiano rind in my freezer so I tossed that into the soup while it was simmering to add even more flavour. This soup is pretty simple to make and it can be done in about an hour.
The lentil stew with Italian sausage and kale turned out really well! It was nice and warm and just full of flavour and healthy vegetables and it really hit the spot on the cold winter days. I had half of a loaf of bread left from the artichoke bread and that was the perfect excuse to slather it up with garlicky butter and toast it with some cheese on top. The cheesy garlic bread was perfect for soaking up that lat bit of tasty stew from the bottom of the bowl.
Lentil Stew with Italian Sausage and Kale
- 1/2 pound Italian sausage (casing removed and crumbled)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion (diced)
- 1 carrot (diced)
- 2 stalks celery (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- chili pepper flakes to taste
- 1 cup white wine (or chicken stock)
- 1 cup de puy lentils
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 parmigiano reggiano rind (optional)
- 1 bunch kale (cut into bit sized pieces) (or spinach or swiss chard, etc.)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
- Cook the sausage in a large pot and set aside.
- Heat the oil in the same pot.
- All the onions, carrot and celery and and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
- Add the garlic and chili pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the wine and deglaze the pan.
- Add the sausage, lentils, chicken stock, bay leaf, oregano, balsamic vinegar and parmigiano reggiano rind and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the lentils are cooked al dente, about 20-30 minutes.
- Add the kale and simmer until wilted.
- Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat and mix in the parsley.