Before I start cooking, I often research my recipe online to see if I can improve on it. I start by searching America’s Test Kitchen, then allrecipes.com, foodnetwork.com and cooks.com. Yesterday I made lentil soup, and in my search I did not find a recipe similar to the one I use. This recipe was passed down to me from my mom, and it’s totally different from what’s out there.
Hearty Lentil Soup
1 lb pork sausage links
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 medium parsnips, cut into chunks (peel them if they have a waxy coating)
4 medium carrots, chopped in slices
2 medium onions or 1 large, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups lentils, rinsed
1/4 tsp marjoram leaves
4 cups chicken broth
1 16 oz can of diced tomatoes with juice
8 slices Italian bread about 1″ thick cut on the diagonal
1 cup shredded swiss cheese
In a large soup pot, cook sausage links, drain on paper towels and cut into chunks. Put to the side for now. In the same pot add 1 Tbsp olive oil, parsnips, onion and garlic and saute over medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Add lentils and marjoram and saute for 5 minutes more. Add chicken broth, tomatoes with the juice, sausage chunks and enough water to have the liquid level almost to the top of the pot (about 5-6 cups). Heat to boiling then reduce to low, stir occasionally. Simmer for 25-30 minutes until lentils are tender. The original recipe said to place sliced bread in a bowl, ladle soup over and sprinkle with cheese, but you can also serve the bread on the side as I have here.