chorizo and lentil soup

Earlier in the year I made a sweet potato and sausage soup. I made it because I thought it would fulfill my love of meat and carbs in a liquid based dish. Spoiler alert. It didn't. It was so mediocre that I couldn't even be compelled to write about it. 

I'm still taking credit for it on my 52 in 52 challenge. I make the rules. 

Then at some point last week I was like "WAIT A MINUTE. SAUSAGE AND LENTILS. SAUSAGE AND LENTILS". I mean maybe there weren't capitals in my head but you get the point.

So I did some light googling and stumbled upon this recipe. I quit cable over the summer but back when I had cable, I used to love a few of the ladies on the Food Network and by that I mean only the original biddies like Ina Garten. She's a hoot. Of course you need to make a cobbler from scratch for your neighbor who is narrating and editing a film about the lighthouses of New England. OF COURSE! Anyway.... long story short ... Ina Garten crafted this original recipe. And, of course I modified it because that's how I do things.

When I was talking about this soup at work today (that's normal right?), I describe it as the perfect about of everything. Baby Sister even agreed. That might seem excessive but I/we really mean it. I feel like it's the soup you give to someone who is sick and can't make up their mind with what they want. It's not excessively tomato, it's not loaded with meat. Plus it has vegetables and you know they are there but you aren't like "oh man, I don't want vegetable soup".

Bonus, it is affordable and hearty... especially if you don't buy chorizo from an Italian meat market. I picked up mine from Monica's Mercato... and while it was definitely worth it. I spent $21 versus the $6 I would have spent on kielbasa from the grocery store. But even considering the expensive chorizo, it still comes down to less than $4 a serving. Yep, it makes like a billion servings and my freezer is now seriously full.

Anyway. Enough jabbering. Oh, and I made this on a week night.

(Step 1) In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onions, leeks, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin. You need to cook this mixture until the veggies are tender/translucent which is about 20 minutes. 
(Step 2) Add the celery and carrots and saute for another 10 minutes. 
(Step 3) Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, and lentils, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, or until the lentils are cooked through and tender. I only simmered for about 30 minutes and it was great. Also, pick a better sized pot than I did. I always pick the wrong size bowl or pot. Good to know some things never change...
(Step 4) Add the chorizo and red wine and simmer until the diced meat is hot. 
(Step 5) Serve drizzled with olive oil and grated parmesan. And then eat more than one serving... maybe.
Shopping List
1 1/2 cups lentils
1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for serving
4 cups diced yellow onions (3 large)
4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (2 leeks)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cups medium diced celery (8 stalks)
3 cups medium diced carrots (4 to 6 carrots)
3 quarts (or 12 cups) Chicken Stock
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 pound chorizo, cut in 1/2 lengthwise and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 tablespoons dry red wine
Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

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