The past few days here in Texas it has been chilly, rainy and absolutely wonderful. In fact it was so cold yesterday that we set a record low, high temperature and there is a good chance we will do the same again today. I even heard the weatherman use the word Polar Vortex today!?!? Is this global warming at work when it’s colder in Texas than in London, England in July? This is weather we normally don’t see until October here in North Texas and I love it!
These wonderful “Fall Like” temperatures have left me craving one of my favorite fall dishes, French Lentils and Sausage Soup. I love the earthy flavor of lentils not to mention the fact that they are packed full of folate, fiber, magnesium, iron, protein, zinc, vitamin B1 and B6, and the list goes on. Basically, Lentils are Mother Natures multi-vitamin. A funny story, I remember several years ago watching the evening news and them interviewing this elderly couple that had been married for something like 80 years. He was 105 and she was 104. The reporter had asked them what their secret was to a long and happy life. They said, “We tell each other I love you everyday and we never go to bed angry.” Then the elderly woman laughed, “Oh and we eat a lot of beans.”
Ever since then I try to add beans and legumes to my diet as often as I can.
While enjoying the cold rain yesterday and thinking about French Lentil and Sausage Soup, I got to thinking… How can I take this very traditional French recipe for Lentils and Sausage soup and make it more Texan? So this is what I did…
First I replaced the traditional French sausage with my favorite smoked jalapeño sausage from Fredericksburg, Texas. Second, I add 2 jalapeños and 2 cans of original Ro-Tel (diced tomatoes and green chilies). Third, I add in traditional Tex-Mex spices like, cumin, chili powder, Mexican oregano, and cayenne pepper. Lastly I serve this spicy and hearty soup in big bowls with Texas Cornbread.
And let me tell y’all French Lentils, Texas Sausage and Cornbread is a match made in heaven!
This recipe for Texas Sausage and French Lentil Soup makes enough to feed 6-8 people and it freezes beautifully so you can keep it on hand for those busy weeknights when there is no time to cook.
I hope y’all enjoy and let me know what you think.
“Texas” Sausage and Lentil Soup
2 cups French du Puy Lentils
2 Yellow Onions, diced
3 Carrots, chopped
3 Stocks of Celery, chopped
2 Jalapeño Peppers, ribs and seeds removed, minced
2 Cloves of Garlic, grated
2 Cans Original Ro-Tel
4 Cups Chicken Stock
1 Teaspoon Mexican Oregano
1 Tablespoon of Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon Cumin
¼ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (optional)
1lb Opa Jalapeno Smoked Sausage, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced
¼ cup Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper to Taste
In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to soak for 15 minutes. Then drain.
In an extra-large pot over medium heat, heat 3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add the chopped onion, carrots, celery, jalapeños, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and a pinch of black pepper to the pot. Sauté the vegetables for 10 minutes or tender. Add in the grated garlic, the Mexican oregano, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Sauté the spices and garlic for another 2 minutes or until the spices become fragrant.
Add the 2 Cans of Ro-Tel (or preferred brand of diced tomatoes and green chilies), 4 cups of Chicken Stock and 6 Cups of Water to the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in the drained lentils and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, checking every 15 minutes to see if more water needs to be added.
After 45 minutes, check the seasoning and add in the smoked jalapeño sausage and the chopped flat leaf parsley. Simmer for another 15 minutes.
Serve in big bowls with Texas Cornbread.