French Lentil Soup with Chorizo
This lentil soup uses the French green lentils, also called lentils de Puy. These are smaller than the brown lentils, cook quicker and hold their shape for a better appearance. The soup is done in less than 40 minutes.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 to 3/4 pound your favorite sausage (I use chorizo), removed from casing
1 onion, diced small
1 whole leek, trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, rinsed and sliced crosswise
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup red or white wine (optional)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, or sprigs of fresh
8 cups water
1 cup French green lentils (de Puy), rinsed
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juices
1 container (5 oz) baby spinach
Salt + Pepper to taste
- In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, sauté the onions in the oil over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes. Add the leek and garlic and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the wine and tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes.
2. Add carrots, celery, thyme, water, and lentils. Bring to a boil,
then simmer, partially covered until lentils are nearly tender, about 20 minutes. While soup is cooking, cook the sausage in a skillet, breaking it up as you go. Set aside.
3. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, and simmer another 10 minutes, or until lentils are fully cooked. Adjust seasonings, add sausage and spinach and simmer for an additional few minutes until spinach is wilted.