This soup plays all the right notes for me. It’s healthy, hearty, colorful. It’s beautifully perfumed, too. And if you think it tastes great on day-one, I’ve got good news for you. It’s even better on days two and three!
My step-by-step recipe for this complete meal:
While blasting this appropriate tune, split the sausage casings with a sharp knife.
And incidentally, I hope the aforementioned tune doesn’t linger in your head. It can only lead to scandalous behavior.
Personally, I can’t bear overly-“hot” foods. I like to taste all of the ingredients in a dish — not just one.
Stirring occasionally, let the veggies and seasonings cook together for 15 minutes.
No picture of this next step, because my inept photographer forgot to take one: Return the crumbled sausage to the pot.
And the leftover soup? Pop it into the refrigerator after it cools. You’ll find the flavors intensify after you chill and reheat them.
For your convenience, here’s a copy-and-paste version of the above. (Not sure how to copy and paste? Watch this video.)
Brown Rice, Lentil, and Kale Soup
Adapted from various sources, including Saveur.com
Ingredients for about 5 quarts, or at least 12 servings
3 sweet Italian sausages (about 1/2 pound total)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
4 celery stalks, diced
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (triple the amount for fresh leaves)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Grinds of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
12 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 cup long grain brown rice
1/2 cup lentils
1/2 pound roughly-chopped kale leaves
Remove sausage casings. Set a heavy, 5-quart pot over a medium flame, and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the sausage, breaking it up as it cooks with a wooden spoon. Saute the meat until it browns — about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the crumbled meat to a bowl.
Tip the carrots, celery, and onion into the pot, and give them a quick stir just to coat. Then stir in the cumin, thyme, salt, pepper, and red pepper. Stir the pot from time to time as the veggies cook for 15 minutes. Then stir in the chicken stock, sausage, rice, and lentils.
Bring to a boil over a high flame, then reduce the heat and partially cover the pot. Let simmer quietly until the rice is cooked — about 45 minutes. Then add the kale leaves, and stir them about until they wither — about 1 minute.
Serve hot, along with goblets of icy Pinot Grigio. Refrigerate leftover soup after it cools. You’ll find the soup is even better when reheated.
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