LENTIL SOUP WITH SMOKED MEAT
There’s something to be said about the benefits and overall comfort food possibilities of lentils. Oh, lentils… Not only rich in fiber but with all the nutritious vitamins that they contain the recently were declared power food. According to Old Hungarian tradition lentils are supposed to be served as the first food you eat in the New Year for prosperity and good fortune. Lentils resemble mini coins = MONEY in your New Year. No resolutions are needed, just have a cup of my famous lentil soup and you will reach for the stars. :)
- 1 Lb. of lentils – presoaked, change the water 3 times. Unlike beans, lentils just need to be presoaked in water while you are preparing the rest of the ingredients, not overnight.
- 4 Tbs. of olive oil
- 1 red onion – chopped
- 1-1 ½ Lbs. of smoked loin of pork – chopped in tiny cubes
- ½ Lb. of smoked sausage (Hungarian)
- 3 bay leaves
- 20 baby carrots – cut in ¼ inch round pieces
- ½ Jalapeno pepper – chopped
- 4 Qts. Of water
- 1 Tbs. of Hungarian or any sweet paprika
- 2 Tbs. of Vegeta or salt
- 5-6 Tbs. of balsamic or apple cider vinegar
- 1 handful of parsley – chopped
- Sour cream to serve it with (optional)
TO PREPARE THE ROUX: (OPTIONAL)
- 3 Tbs. of olive oil
- 3 Tbs. of all purpose flour
- ½ red onion –chopped
In a non stick pan heat up the olive oil, add the flour, stirring constantly until the color will become light brown. Now you can add the chopped onion, mixing everything and cooking it for another 2 minutes together, stirring often. You can set it aside until the soup is half way done when you introduce it to the soup, stirring until all lumps are dissolved and you will see the texture of the liquid changing into a creamier consistency.
In a 6 Qt. soup dish add the olive oil, chopped onions, smoked meat and sausage and cook them together until tender. (About 15 minutes). Add the water, bay leaves and seasonings and cook them together until the smoked meats are cooked and soft. Now you can add the presoaked lentils (drained from the last soak) and the baby carrots. In about 30 minutes your soup should be ready. While still cooking, lower the heat to minimum and add the vinegar, check for seasoning and sprinkle it with parsley.
You can let the soup rest a bit and serve it with 1 Tbs. of sour cream in each individual plate or you can omit that if you wish. Sliced red onions and a slice of your freshly baked bread will go along great with this magnificent comfort soup.
This soup is another one of those that settle and thicken overnight so it will taste even better the next day.
My family used a thickening agent called a roux towards the end of the cooking process to give that ultimate creamy texture to the soup. If you are curve conscious you can omit this because it contains flour but if you’re one of the daring ones you can add the separately prepared roux to the soup when the lentils and carrots are halfway cooked, stirring often until the consistency becomes thick and creamy.
EGESZSEGEDRE! BON APPETITE!