FRENCH LENTIL AND SAUSAGE SOUP WITH THYME

I don’t really know how to introduce this recipe. It’s simple, and Frenchy, and perfect. The fresh thyme is magnificent. The sausage is sweet and velvety. Lentils are firm and gorgeous and tantalizing. It’s a rainbow. It’s nourishing. Isn’t that enough?!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup French green lentils

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 + tsps cumin

2 + tsps coriander

3-4 tbsps apple cider vinegar

3/4 pound Boar’s Head Kielbasa

6 cups chicken stock, low sodium canned or homemade obviously, if you’re really good at this kitchen thing

2 leeks, washed and chopped, green and white parts only

1 large sweet yellow or vidalia onion, diced

4 large carrots, peeled and diced

4 large celery stalks, washed and diced

2 + tsps garlic powder

Kosher salt

Cracked pepper

LOTS of fresh thyme, 2-3 tbps minced aka rip the leaves off the stalks and squish them with your fingers as you throw them in the pot

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

METHOD

First up: boil some water and pour over your lentils, let them souse in it for 15 minutes. Then heat some olive oil in a large pot over medium and saute the onions, leeks, garlic powder, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, and half the thyme, for about ten minutes while you chop the carrots and celery. Don’t forget to drain the lentils! Add those celery and carrot and saute about ten more minutes. Next goes in the drained lentils, chicken stock and the tomato paste. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and let it simmer uncovered for about an hour or until lentils are tender. Cover the pot to hurry up the process if needed. Test the spices and adjust if necessary.

Dice your sausage or kielbasa and add to the pot once the lentils are ready. Add the rest of the thyme. Simmer for about 15 more minutes and take off the heat. Serve with fresh lemony parsley, parmesan and more olive oil, thick sour cream, whatever you’re in the mood for. It’s so good, every spoonful is different and even more awesome than the last. Eat it by candlelight listening to Dusty Springfield. There is nothing better than this meal and her version of “You Don’t Own Me” from 1964. Nothing.

 

ASPARAGUS AND GRUYERE QUICHE IN PUFF PASTRY

This is a take on a classic combination of flavors, nothing groundbreaking or sea-changing, however SUPER delicious, cheap, and so easy it barely registers as a recipe. But I typed it all out anyhow, so take a peek.

INGREDIENTS

4 eggs

Bunch asparagus, about a pound

6 oz gruyere, shredded

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cayenne

1 tsp herbs de provence

Salt and pepper

Bunch parsley

Lemon juice

Dash worcestershire sauce

Two sheets puff pastry (I guess you could make it from scratch, but I didn’t and it was amazing, so tada)

METHOD

If you’re cheating on the pastry part, like me, take it out of the freezer first, and let it thaw so it’ll be pliable and you can shape it into a pie, or something that looks vaguely like a pie. Anyway, take it out and leave it on the counter and move on with the rest. Like washing and trimming the asparagus! Fun!

Preheat the oven to 375.

Snap off the woody ends and then cut the spears into half inch pieces, diagonally. Dump them into a large bowl. Shred up dat gruyere and add that to the bowl, with all the spicy goodness: cayenne, garlic, herbs de provence, salt and pepper, and the worcestershire as well. In another bowl, whip up the eggs with a little ice water and try to get them as airy as possible. Add the eggs to the other bowl and fold in everything to incorporate. Set aside.

Grab that pastry and with it, line a small baking sheet, loaf pan, pie tin, whatever you’re using. I rubbed a little coconut oil on the pan first so it wouldn’t stick, but you do you. So, lines the sides and pour in the eggy asparagus gruyere mix. Cover with more pastry sheets. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes, or until its all gold and shimmering and hugely puffy. Let it cool while you toss a fat bunch of parsley in some lemon juice, then shower your beautiful quiche in some salady green.

Get it!

 

ROOT VEGETABLE SMASH WITH FRIED EGG AND PARSLEY SALAD

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More of a bright idea really, than a recipe.

The root smash is potato and parsnip, with leek and carrot. We used leftovers here, but you can make them for the purpose of this brunchy dish if you REALLY want. Or make them the night before with fancy dinner sausages or something. AnyWAY, the veggies are just boiled for about 20 minutes, add some butter or nonfat Greek yogurt, and smash ’em up. THEY ARE SO GOOD. They’ll change the way you eat mashed potatoes forever! Pat into a cake, fry it up, set aside. Fry up a perfect egg-in-a-circle (I used my biscuit cutter), and add some parsley and thinly sliced shallots with lemon juice and salt and pepper.

K A B L A M M O