Thursday, February 16, 2012

Souped Up Meal

I'm not opposed to Campbell's tomato soup in a pinch. But the canned version just can't compare to homemade tomato soups. A Cream of Tomato and Rice Soup has become a favorite in the County Line kitchen. Pair it with a grilled cheese sandwich, and it's the perfect winter lunch or supper.

I now have another tomato soup to add to the winter arsenal - Lentil-Tomato Soup. It packs a punch of nutrition with the lentils and all the vegetables. I'd never used lentils before. Unlike dried beans, you don't have to soak them ahead of time, and they cooked within 30 minutes, making it an easy soup to throw together quickly.

The original recipe didn't call for meat, but suggested sausage as a way to punch up the protein for meat lovers. There's no question how Randy would vote on that option. So I added Italian sausage.


Lentil-Tomato Soup

Adapted from Taste of Home magazine, November 2011
4 1/2 cups water
4 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2/3 cup dried lentils, rinsed
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley (or 1 tsp. dried parsley)
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dill weed
1/4 tsp. dried tarragon
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 lb. Italian sausage, browned and drained
3 cups kale, chopped

In a large saucepan, combine the water, carrots, onion and lentils; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until vegetables and lentils are tender. Stir in remaining ingredients (except kale); return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Add kale and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Serve with cornbread, if desired.

If you prefer a creamy tomato soup, try this Cream of Tomato and Rice. The new soup will join it in the menu line-up, but it definitely won't replace it for those days when I want a creamier version.

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