Redemption of the lentil

In early January after nearly 3 weeks crashing at either Matt’s parents or my parents we finally were home. I was determined to really cook some homemade meals, the first time in quite awhile. We had grown soft in “the land flowing with milk and honey” (and Costco food), and hadn’t really made a meal in forever.

I though the standard lentil stew would hit the spot. I had used a recipe that won the National Lentil Festival recipe of the year in 2007 or 2008, but I couldn’t locate the recipe online, and I couldn’t find it in my recipe drawer (HORROR OF HORRORS). I remembered that it called for dark chocolate and diced tomatoes, the other specifics I had forgotten. I figured I’d wing it . . . 2 hours later I had 10lbs of the nastiest, grossest looking lentil mud ever seen by man. I had also severely burned the bottom of my favorite pot (several days of soaking and lemon and baking soda did the trick.

Matt was the gracious, as per usual, but he wasn’t interested in dining on the brown scalded mess, he politely offered to make spaghetti instead. This frustrated cook threw up her hands and happily surrendered the kitchen to her patient husband.

Lentils 1 Laura 0

Yesterday, after a short school day I was feeling up to a challenge, I glanced at the large bag of bulk lentils I purchased weeks ago. It was time for another lentil showdown.

A quick Food Network Search yielded this recipe

Sausage Kale & Lentil Soup

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 pound hot sausage (I used Trader Joe’s Jalepeno Chicken sausage, it was INCREDIBLE)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped, leafy tops reserved
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped (I used 2)
  • 1 large Idaho (russet) potato, peeled and chopped into small dice (omitted completely, who needs potato with lentils, weird)
  • 1 Fresno or Holland chili pepper thinly sliced or finely chopped (squeezed 2 TB Sriracha in instead)
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped (didn’t have it, OMITTED!!)
  • 2 large garlic chopped or sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bundle Tuscan, black, or dinosaur kale, stemmed and very thinly sliced (used a half bag of Trader Joe’s bagged Kale
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 3/4 cups lentils
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water


I used a large wok, heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Add the sausage (since it was precooked), the onions, celery, carrots, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper, and cook to soften, 8 to10 minutes.

Wilt in the kale

Stir in the tomato paste for 30 seconds, then add white wine. Cook to reduce by 1/2 and stir in the lentils, stock, and water.Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the soup until the lentils are tender, about 35 minutes. Serve immediately or cool, store, and reheat.


Ok Rachel Ray, ya done good. This is my NEW go to lentil recipe, it was incredible. LOVED IT! It was even sort of beautiful for a lentil stew, full of flavor and the kale – – – don’t get me started on the kale, it was delicious and offered a consistency that was great!

The lentil has been redeemed!


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