Sunday, September 11, 2011
Finely chopped onion, celery, carrot, garlic and crushed red chiles in olive oil is a pretty good way to start a soup. I had cooked lentils I was determined to use up and a nice bunch of broccoli rabe. I let the aromatics sauté until soft and then added in water, chicken stock, the last of a bottle of white wine and a couple of grated plum tomatoes (I really wanted tomato paste but we were all out) along with a bay leaf. Since my legumes were already cooked I let the liquid bubble for a bit but it just didn't have the depth of flavor I was looking for (I really was missing that tomato paste) so I poached a couple of links of Italian sausage in the liquid before adding in the lentils. I sliced the sausage into rounds, added them back into the pot and let everything simmer for about 10 minutes to really combine the flavors. For a bit of pleasant bitterness and a bright green flavor I boiled up some broccoli rabe and put a dollop (along with a drizzle of olive oil) on top of the soup. Simple and hearty and no need to go to the store -- a perfect Sunday night supper.