Friday, January 15, 2010

Lentil Soup with Spicy Sausage

This is a delicious one pot meal for winter. It makes A LOT of hearty soup and keeps wonderfully in the refrigerator so you can enjoy leftovers all week long as the snow falls outside. If you cannot finish the entire pot in your first sitting (and unless you have 8 friends to help you, or that many stomachs you won't ) make sure to place the spinach in each individual bowl instead of in the entire pot or the leaves will wilt too much.

Lentil Soup with Spicy Sausage

Adapted from Bon Appetit

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound hot turkey sausage
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled, chopped
2 large parsnips, peeled, chopped
2 large celery stalks, chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning blend (or a combination of any suitable dried herbs you have on hand: sage, oregano, basil)
1 pound lentils
3 quarts low-salt chicken broth
1 5 ounce package spinach leaves

Heat oil in dutch oven over medium high heat. Remove sausage from casings in small bits and cook until browned, stirring occasionally. Add onion, carrots, parsnips, celery and herbs. Cook until onion is translucent and vegetables begin to soften, stirring often. Add lentils; stir to coat. Add broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

If serving entire soup immediately, add spinach to dutch oven and stir in before ladling into bowl. If not, add spinach to each bowl and stir in to each serving.

Eat and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Breakfast for Dinner: Tomato Poached Eggs

I found inspiration for this dish from a recipe in my "to-make" file one night when I wanted to use only items I had in the fridge and pantry. It's simple, rustic and will warm you up on these cold winter nights!

Tomato Poached Eggs
4 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup sliced green onions (yellow onions would be fine here too)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 28 oz can (or 2 14.5 oz cans) whole plum tomatoes, undrained and coarsely chopped
4 large eggs
4 thick slices of crusty bread
1/2 cup of hard cheese (pecornio or parmesan)
optional (if you have it) : 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Add onions and garlic to the oil, cook 3 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and tomatoes. Bring to boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Reduce heat to low. Crack one egg at a time over tomato mixture, spacing about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle eggs with remaining salt and pepper. Cover pan and cook 5 minutes or until eggs are cooked to desired doneness.

Place one slice of bread in each of 4 bowls. Spoon about 3/4 cup of sauce over each serving. Top each with one egg, approximately 2 tablespoons grated cheese and 1 1/2 teaspoons basil.

Eat and enjoy!