Monday, January 10, 2011

Lentil Soup with Sausage, Brown Rice, and Spinach: Things Are Looking Up

Today on Serious Eats: Swiss Chard and Turkey Sausage Over Polenta. So simple. So seductive delicious.

Painful things I have done recently (SPOILER ALERT):

Dislocated and/or broke my left pinky toe on a door frame. That’ll teach me to ... uh ... walk.  

Read the entire Lord of the Rings series. Fellow nerds! Hear my call! Why did no one tell me the books were butt-awful? Sweet bejeezus, Tolkien dedicated entire CHAPTERS to whether Frodo and Sam should take a left at the scary-looking rock, and exactly two pages on the death of Gollum, destruction of the ring, and collapse of Mordor. By the ancient sword of Elendil, Charles *freaking* Dickens would been like, “This needs fewer words, old chap.” 

Admitted my English degree has been fairly useless. With apologies to the Bronte sisters, Jane Eyre does not prepare you for the intricacies of expense reports. 

Watched Precious. “Hm,” I thought halfway through the film, “The only thing that could possibly make this more depressing is if they gave Precious AIDS.” (ten seconds pass) “Aaaaand there you go.” 

Threw out my old music cassette tapes. Oh, man. Here’s something they don’t tell you when you move: Carrying 90 boxes up a flight of stairs isn’t the hardest part. It’s chucking beloved, but outdated and useless possessions, like Open Up and Say ... Ahh!, the 1988 multiplatinum classic from Poison. Every rose has it’s thorn, indeed.
            A very enjoyable thing I did recently: 

            Ate Double Lentil, Sausage, Brown Rice, and Spinach Soup from the stupendous Kalyn’s Kitchen. Speaking of which, Kalyn just published her Top 10 Recipes of 2010, which you should gaze upon immediately.
              HOTUS and I had guests for the first time at our new apartment. As it turns out, it’s impolite to starve company, so thus, the soup. And it tasted good. Real good. So good, there was slurping. From guests! Even my sister liked it, and she hates food.

              I made two medium-sized changes to Kalyn’s original recipe: I substituted water in for part of the chicken broth, and used a combination of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika for Spike Seasoning, which I couldn’t find in Brooklyn. Also of note: Kalyn and I both used a 3.5-quart slow cooker. If you don’t own one, she includes instructions to adapt the recipe for the stovetop at Kalyn’s Kitchen. (They’re not included here).

              A wonderful thing I have recommenced recently: 

              Blogging. It's good to be back, sweet readers.

                If this recipe floats your boaty, these will surely make you gloaty. (Sorry.):

                Double Lentil, Sausage, Brown Rice, and Spinach Soup
                Serves 6.
                Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen.

                1/2 medium onion, diced small
                1 carrot, peeled and diced small
                2 stalks celery, diced small
                1 tablespoon olive oil
                3 cloves garlic, minced
                1 teaspoon dried thyme
                A few shakes each: kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, paprika
                3 links pre-cooked chicken or turkey sausage, chopped into 1/3-inch pieces
                1 (15-ounce) can petite dice tomatoes, undrained
                2 (15-ounce) cans chicken broth
                2-1/2 cups water
                1/4 cup brown or green lentils
                1/4 cup red lentils
                1/4 cup long-grain brown rice
                4 cups chopped fresh spinach
                2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

                1) Heat olive in large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery. Saute until ever-so-slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Saute an additional 2 minutes.

                2) Pour onion mixture into crockpot. Add sausage, tomatoes, broth, water, and all lentils. Stir to combine. Cook on high 3 hours.

                3) Add rice and spinach. Stir to combine. Cook 1 more hour.

                4) Add balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine. Cook 15 minutes. Serve, with crusty bread and “Parmesan cheese if desired.”

                Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, Protein, and Price Per Serving
                226 calories, 7.8 g fat, 7.3 g fiber, 15.5 g protein, $1.72

                Note: Calculations are for Chef Bruce Aidells Chicken & Apple Sausage from CostCo., since the numbers were easily available online. I personally used a different, yet similar brand, the label of which I can't remember, and is currently buried under two feet of garbage.

                1/2 medium onion, diced small: 23 calories, 0.1 g fat, 0.8 g fiber, 0.5 g protein, $0.17
                1 carrot, peeled and diced small: 25 calories, 0.1 g fat, 1.7 g fiber, 0.6 g protein, $0.08
                2 stalks celery, diced small: 17 calories, 0.2 g fat, 2 g fiber, 0.9 g protein, $0.25
                1 tablespoon olive oil: 199 calories, 13.5 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein, $0.13
                3 cloves garlic, minced: 13 calories, 0 g fat, 0.2 g fiber, 0.6 g protein, $0.20
                1 teaspoon dried thyme: 3 calories, 0.1 g fat, 0.4 g fiber, 0.1 g protein, $0.12
                A few shakes each: kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, paprika: negligible calories, fat, fiber, and protein, $0.03
                3 links pre-cooked chicken or turkey sausage: 480 calories, 30 g fat, 1.5 g fiber, 42 g protein, $4.34
                1 (15-ounce) can petite dice tomatoes, undrained: 70 calories, 0 g fat, 3.5 g fiber, 3.5 g protein, $1.69 (ugh, I know)
                2 (15-ounce) cans chicken broth: 67 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, 13.1 g protein, $1.33
                2-1/2 cups water: negligible calories, fat, fiber, and protein, $0.00
                1/4 cup brown or green lentils: 119 calories, 0.5 g fat, 14.7 g fiber, 12.4 g protein, $0.37
                1/4 cup red lentils: 119 calories, 0.5 g fat, 14.7 g fiber, 12.4 g protein, $0.37
                1/4 cup long-grain brown rice: 171 calories, 1.3 g fat, 1.6 g fiber, 3.7 g protein, $0.18
                4 cups chopped fresh spinach: 28 calories, 0.5 g fat, 2.6 g fiber, 3.4 g protein, $0.86
                2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar: 20 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein, $0.20
                TOTALS: 1354 calories, 46.8 g fat, 43.7 g fiber, 93.2 g protein, $10.32
                PER SERVING (TOTALS/6): 226 calories, 7.8 g fat, 7.3 g fiber, 15.5 g protein, $1.72

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                KitschenBitsch said...

                You made me laugh so hard Mr. B heard me across the house. Mr. B attempted to read me Lord of the Rings as a bedtime story, and I found 800 excuses to avoid it and finally realized it was better than actual liquor or drugs if I couldn't sleep. One night I feel asleep and he got upset, and I said, "Relax. Let me guess. They ate. They walked. They ate again. There was grass." It's still a pretty big point of contention in this house.

                Also, as an English teacher, I get to teach professional writing (we talk about reports and resumes!) and wonder why in the unholy hades no one ever taught me any of the actual types of writing people have to do...

                So this is my tremendously longwinded fistbump. Huzzah!

                Jaime said...

                I think those are books you need to read when you're 13. I read The Hobbit after college, and it was BO-RING. But I bet if we'd read them in junior high we'd've been hooked. Something about patience and attachment in nerd tweens, maybe.

                Kris said...

                You guys, I'm sending you elf poems and air fist-bumps from south Brooklyn.

                Claire said...

                OH. MY. GOSH. You call yourself a nerd and you DIDN'T like The Lord of the Rings Trilogy? I just don't see how that's possible. I've read the books 3 times now and I have just recently been thinking that it's about time for me to read them again! And no, none of those times was when I was 13 (the movies were my first intro to the story). Sure, there are parts that are slow and you can see how they get left out of the movies, but still! I just love them.

                Your recipe sounds good, BTW. :)

                Angie said...

                Ha! I've never attempted to get through the LOTR books, but Kris and KitschenBitsch, IMO your descriptions apply to the films as well. The third one's okay, since things actually happen, but I cannot for the life of me figure out why we needed to get through 6 excruciating hours of people, creatures, and TREES walking first. And I usually enjoy that sci-fi/fantasy stuff!

                Also, this soup looks delicious and I plan on making it as soon as I can figure out how to wrest control of the boyfriend's slowcooker. :D

                Kalyn said...

                So glad you liked the soup! I send sincere condolences on the moving (and I still have my cassette tapes!)

                Anonymous said...

                WOAH! Watch the spoiler alerts... I hadn't seen Precious yet, now I'm pretty sad I already know too much.

                Carrie said...

                Try reading the Dark Tower Series by Stephen King. Same general genre, but great books. I enjoyed the LOTR books, but probably tuned out over some of the boring parts.

                Yummy soup, too.