Ahhhh, rainy days in Arizona! Is it just me, or does cold, rainy weather just call out for a hearty soup, yoga pants, and a comfy blanket? Last week, when the cold weather really hit us hard (it was high 40's/low 50's out... BRRRR!!), I whipped out the dutch oven and made a seriously amazing Winter Squash Soup from Ina Garten's Barefoot in Paris (the only changes were to use only about 1/4 c of heavy cream and only about 1/2 of the can of pumpkin puree, since I had that much left over from making pumpkin french toast the day before). I can't give this soup enough credit... it's cheap, easy, hearty, and freaking delicious!! Not to mention, I didn't have to buy a dang thing, since I had everything in my kitchen already!
Today, the rain is coming down and it's dark and gloomy outside. And so, for tonight's sure-to-be-crappy Monday Night Football game (STL @ SEA), I've created a hearty winter soup with spicy andouille sausage, potato, kale, and lentils. Here's how I did it...
1 lb spicy andouille sausage
Extra virgin olive oil, for sauteing stuff
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 russet potato
2 ribs celery
1 yellow onion
1 bunch kale
1 T fresh thyme (or as much as your poor, sun-deprived plant can spare)
1 c green lentils
4 c chicken stock or broth
A splish splash of Worcestershire
Heavy cream, if you so desire
S&P to taste (this should go without saying, but you never know)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, because you want it to be tasty
0. Begin streaming an appropriate rainy-weather Pandora station. I prefer Adele or comparable British crooner for this particular type of foodventure.
1. Cover the lentils in boiling water (use a lot... they soak it up!) and let em hang out for 15 mins while you prep your other stuff.
2. Chop the veggies however you will want them to be in the soup. Cut things in slices, dice it, freakin food process it for all I care. Just make sure you adjust cooking time so that things are cooked through. I trust you!
3. Cook things, preferably in an aesthetically pleasing dutch oven like I did. Start with the EVOO, onions, and garlic. Then add the sausage (remove the casings first!) and brown it up. Once that's done, toss in the carrots, and celery, thyme, S&P, and cook those for about 10 more minutes, until they look delicious and the smells make you so hungry that you just can't take it anymore.
4. Make it soupy. Add the chicken stock, potato, lentils (drain them first!), and a little more S&P. Bring it to a boil, and let 'er simmer for an hour or so uncovered so that your whole house smells delicious. Dance around to Duffy or watch the rain to pass the time. If you check the soup and it needs more liquid, add more chicken stock or water. After an hour or so, make sure the lentils and potato are cooked through, and then move to step 5.
5. Finish this son of a gun! Add the kale in bite-sized pieces so you and your friends don't look like Neanderthals when you're eating (remember to take out the tough stem part). Let that cook down for about 5 mins, then add the Worcestershire and heavy cream, if you're into that type of thing. S&P again as needed, spoon into bowls, and top with cheese. Then eat it while watching the Rams get their bootays handed to them on national tv.