Monday, March 11, 2013

Lentil-Wild Rice Soup with Kale and Sausage or Cleaning Out for Spring

There are moments when the seasons are about to begin changing that I start looking in the pantry, frig, and freezer and know it's time to use up a few things.   Today, this is what I saw:

  •  A cup of green lentils.
  •  4 frozen chicken sausages.
  •  A bag of  frozen ham from Christmas.
  • Lots of wild rice.
  • Frozen small bag of tomato paste.  1/4 bottle white wine.
  • Wilting parsley.
  •   Lots of fresh kale.

I owed my friend Cathy something for her eggs, I was thinking.  A small pot of lunch soup might work.   Dave and I needed lunch for a few days.

If you keep onions, celery, carrots, dried herbs, spices, and boxed broth on hand, you can probably find something with which to make soup when it's time to clear the cobwebs away for spring.  Make it for supper and take a few lunches or freeze half for next week and ask a friend to come; she can bring bread and wine.  This was what was in this morning's pot -- everything but the kitchen sink  or almost.   Perhaps you  have some ground beef or egg noodles or parsnips or chicken.  No matter.  Time for your inner-creative cook to kick in.  Yours will surely be different, very much your own, and luscious. Make it while it's still cold out.

lentil-wild rice soup with sausage and kale
serves 8                   easily cuts in half

  • 1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil (no need for extra virgin)
  • Generous pinch crushed red pepper, optional
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3-4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped smoked ham
  • 4 carrots:  1 cut in half, the rest cut into 1/2" slices
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons Herbes de Provence (or a mixture of dried herbs like basil, oregano, marjoram)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 quarts chicken stock
  • Tabasco, 3-4 shakes or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup acorn or other winter squash, chopped
  • 1 large potato, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh kale (can sub spinach)
  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 1 cup green or brown lentils
  • 1 cup  cut up, cooked sausage such as chicken with apple (Aidell's, etc.) or kielbasa

In a 10-12-quart soup kettle, heat butter and oil over medium flame.  Add red pepper and let cook a minute or so until fragrant.  Add onions, celery, ham, the cut-in-half carrot, dried rosemary, and the Herbes de Provence.  Let cook 4-5 minutes until softening; add garlic and cook another minute or two.  Stir in wine.  Bring to a boil for two minutes.

Pour in water, stock, and tabasco.  Stir in tomato paste, parsley, salt, pepper, cover, and bring to a boil.  Add the rest of the carrots, the acorn squash, potato, kale, wild rice, lentils, and sausage.  Lower heat and simmer 35-45 minutes until legumes and vegetables are tender.

Taste, adjust seasonings, and serve hot.

Have fun cooking and taking care of yourself,

Tuesday on More Time at the Table: 

Potato Soup and Irish Soda Bread 



  1. What grace that a dozen eggs could be exchanged for such nourishing soup! It filled my belly (and soul) for several days and also provided lunch for a friend and my husband! And even better, it sustained us during a busy time until I could buy groceries and provide healthy meals on my own.

  2. @Cathy I'm glad you enjoyed the soup as much we enjoyed the eggs, which I used in a Smoked Salmon Frittata that we ate for two days! (Blogged on More Time at the Table)


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