Saturday, December 1, 2012

Winter Soup Challenge!

It has been raining cats and dogs here the last three days. Not that I mind. Here in Southern California the sunshine gets a bit boring and I actually look forward to gloomy, rainy days.  I was out driving today and it finally looked like fall/winter with damp leaves on the road in shades of red and yellow and a dark overcast sky.  This is the type of weather which begs you to curl up by the fire and make a nice, piping hot bowl of soup!

Last year I challenged myself to make one new soup each week. While, I didn't quite live up to my goal, I did get to make some tasty soups. Today I decided to take up this challenge yet again. The great thing about soup is that it is easy to make and a great way to use up left over ingredients from other meals.

I started my winter soup challenge off today with a bang, making a scrumptious spinach, lentil and sausage soup taken from Martha Stewart. I love the idea of adding a touch of red wine vinegar at the end which gives the soup an added dimension of flavor. While the Martha Stewart recipe calls for kale, I substituted spinach because I enjoy the mild flavor to that of kale. Also a word of caution: the recipe calls for adding salt at various stages which in my opinion can lead to a salt overload, beware! I recommend waiting until the very end of the process and then tasting it (as any good cook should do) to determine the appropriate amount of salt and pepper. The sausage and chicken broth adds enough of a salty flavor that I didn't even season with salt at the end, just a bit of ground pepper. I also added some Parmasean cheese on top to "gild the lily" as Jacques Pepin likes to say.


  1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add sausage and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add celery and onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add lentils, broth, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a rapid simmer, partially cover, and cook until lentils and vegetables are tender, 25 minutes.
  2. Add kale and season with salt. Return soup to a rapid simmer, cover, and cook until kale wilts, about 5 minutes. Remove soup from heat, stir in vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.


  1. oh yum! i can just see this served with warm french bread and some cheese!

  2. I actually did serve it with warm French bread, but the cheese sounds good too!


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