Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Lentil Barley Soup and good sausage

For a while, several years ago, the Genius Husband and I ate mostly meatless meals. Our friends assumed we were vegetarian until we told them that it was out of economy more than anything else. Well, it felt better to eat as we were also, but for my husband especially the meatless quality of our lives was an economy measure to get him through grad school. Even now, we usually eat 3-4 meatless meals every week. (Pregnancy doesn’t count of course because I need animal protein to make up for all of the extra work. I’m not a happy vegetarian mom though I’d like to be. I need steak.) All that is to say that I learned a lot from 1000 Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles. When I first bought it in university I didn’t even know what quinoa is let alone have any in my cupboard but she teaches what things are, how to prepare them and there are so many recipes that there is something that will suit every taste.

Anyway, on to the recipe which isn’t from the book. You can also combine all of these ingredients in a crockpot and go to work and it will be done when you get home if you set it on low.

You will need 6-8 cups of water or broth. If it’s water add bullion I like the Better Than Bullion Turkey broth, which can be found at most grocery stores.

Put water/broth in a stockpot.

Add 1/2 cup of olive oil

Add 1 1/2 cups lentils
Add 1 1/2 cups barley (hulled or pearled, rinse it if it’s pearled.)

Fine chop one medium onion: add to pot.

Mince 4 cloves of garlic and add to pot.


Salt and pepper to taste.

1 tbsp thyme

1/2 tsp ground oregano

2 tbsp cumin

1tbsp curry powder (optional)

several drops chipotle Tabasco sauce.

Bring to a boil and simmer for 1/2 an hour or so until lentils begin to soften.

Add sliced celery, carrots, and any other vegetables that you want and simmer until vegetables are soft.

My husband really likes this soup when I add a spicy sausage to it.

I’ve mentioned sausage a few times, so I thought I’d tell you about a brand that I really like and yes it’s a Trader Joe’s, but also at Albertson’s and other places. Cantella’s makes really good sausage. It’s precooked, no MSG, no gluten, mainly chicken but they do make one pork Andouille that I mention recently. I don’t really like sausage by itself. I’m not one to cook a whole sausage and eat it straight, the texture tends to bother me, but I find it very useful in adding flavor to other dishes. That’s why I like Cantella’s because they have some really strong flavors that go a long way in other things like soup and casserole and quiche and other things, one or two is enough.

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