One of the benefits of making meals for the family on a regular basis is that cooking begets cooking. What does that mean? Simply, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. You start to see ways to combine things and make old things new again. Take the my recent infatuation with Chorizo, the Spanish pork sausage. As I mentioned earlier in the week, I've been using it to transform various dishes. Here's the latest way.
Over the weekend, I needed a quick, no-hands lunch for myself. Santa Maria was out of town and I was on my own with the kids. I copped out and gave them canned lentil soup. Not the best thing in the world, but not the worst, either. I knew I had some lentil-bulgur soup in the freezer (that's the benefit of keeping a regular cooking schedule). It is one of my favorite soups, but it has an Achilles' heel: It doesn't have enough protein for me. I fixed that problem once before, with Andouille sausage, and I knew I could do it again, with the last bit of Chorizo I had in the fridge.
As with the other recipes, I cut the sausage in half-moon shapes, crisped them up nicely, and then put them atop the soup. It was super delicious.
Lentil Bulgur Soup with Crispy Chorizo Sausage
- 1 cup lentils
- 5 cups water (or chicken or vegetable stock)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Olive Oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- A dash cayenne
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup raw bulgur
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 28-ounce can peeled plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- Pinch of dried rosemary
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1-3 Chorizo sausage, cut into half-moon pieces
Rinse the lentils and bring them to a boil in the salted water or stock. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for about forty minutes.
While the lentils are cooking, heat the olive oil in a heavy soup pot and saute the onions until they are translucent.
Add the garlic, cayenne, bay leaves, and bulgur. Stir, until the onions and bulgur are lightly browned.
Mix in the tomatoes and parsley.
Pour the cooked lentils into the pot.
Add the tomato paste and rosemary.
Simmer for another 15 minutes or so; until the lentils are tender. If the soup looks too dry, add some boiling water or hot stock.
When you want to serve the soup, crisp the sausages in a bit of oil in a frying pan, and drain of any excess oil
Serve the soup in bowls, with the sausages on top (figure about one to a person)
Note: you can also stir in fresh spinach and let it wilt in the soup first, for a completely nutritious meal. And this recipe makes a large quantity of soup; adjust the amount of sausage accordingly.