I've been doing some food reading lately. I think "lately" might be a rather broad term, as I've generally been obsessed with all manner of food magazines, books, articles and even recipes I find blowing around on the sidewalk.
But I've been trying to find ways to make my own kitchen – a kitchen that cooks for one, with occasional guests – a more efficient, healthy and tasty place.
When I have questions I usually go to books. I feel like there is something impressive about the and printed word. There are a few books I've been reading from that have helped me stock my kitchen for the above purposes, and I will share them with you in a future post.
What seems to be a common theme in terms of healthy, economical cookin' and eatin' can be summed up in one word: SOUP.
With soup, you can clean out the refrigerator of random things that you might have thrown away, not known what to do with, or stared at blankly every time you opened the fridge door until they turned moldy and months down the road you uncover them only to call CDC for backup. Sound familiar? Let's hope not.
Here is a ridiculously simple recipe for Lentil Soup with Sausage. It's healthy, tasty, and you can freeze most of it for use later if you don't feel like downing the whole gallon at one sitting (freezing recommended).
What You Need:
1/2 cup Umbrian Lentils
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 link of sausage (sweet Italian, spicy, turkey, to-furkey...whatever you like!), removed from its casing
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 of a small can of tomato paste
4 cups of water
2 chopped sage leaves
salt and pepper
What You Do:
Boil the 1/2 cup of lentils in water for 20 minutes to cook. Set aside.
In a large stock pot, sauté the chopped onion and celery in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook them until they start to soften and turn translucent - about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the chopped garlic and the 1 link of sausage. Break apart the sausage into small chunks with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Cook for about 7-10 minutes.
Deglaze by adding 1/2 cup white wine.
Then add the half can of tomato paste and 4 cups of water.
Simmer for 15 minutes, then add the cooked lentils and 2 chopped sage leaves.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve. With cheese and crackers!