In winter if it is the weekend there is most likely a pot of soup on the stove at our house. A huge pot will provide lunches for the week. Leftovers are frozen. At this point our freezer is starting to be overrun with soup.
I was looking for a cabbage soup recipe (yes, lots of cabbages in our CSA recently) and found this recipe on Kalyn's Kitchen. She suggested using pre-cooked sausage links and to be honest I am not sure what that it. We used kielbasa.
The end result was a hearty, delicious soup. In fact, the other day I had just finished a bowl at the office when a colleague walked in and asked what smelled so amazing. When I told her it was lentil soup she refused to believe me - presumably lentil soup has all sorts of connotations of boring, blandness and there is none of that with this one.
This recipe makes a lot of soup . . . 8 - 10 large servings. You could cut it in half but why bother- it freezes well and will provide you with warm, delicious soup for weeks.
I was a bit worried about the amount of water in the soup thinking, erroneously it turned out, that it would result in a soup with no taste. I should have known to trust Kalyn!
Lentil and Sausage Soup with Cabbage
6 cups water
10 cups homemade chicken stock
3-4 links precooked sausage, cut into small pieces (about 2 cups diced sausage) - I used diced kielbasa
2 cups brown lentils
1 cup finely diced onion
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
3 cups coarsely chopped cabbage
2-3 bay leaves
2 T minced garlic
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 T tomato paste (I used the type from a tube)
Put water, chicken stock, bay leaves, garlic, thyme, cumin, tomato paste, and lentils in large soup pot and start to simmer. Cut sausage in fourths lengthwise, then into small pieces and add to soup. Add finely chopped onion, celery, and carrots and coarsely chopped cabbage. Let soup simmer on low 2-3 hours or more, until lentils are starting to dissolve, and some of the vegetables have been incorporated into soup. Serve hot.