Posted by: lisetta | January 4, 2009

Buon anno!

Lentils for the new year – so long, Moroccan spices! I’ve replaced you with more Italian flavors, inspired by Linda’s recipe on Ciao Chow Linda.  Grazie, Linda!


Lisetta’s Lentil Sausage Soup

5 oz of sweet Italian sausage, stripped of its casing and cooked in a big pot. Add:

1 sweet onion, chopped

4 med sized carrots, cut on the bi  (Is that even an English expression? When I cooked in that macrobiotic vegan cafe, the chef told me to cut the carrots “on the bi” to “preserve their energy”, meaning to cut it in circles, leaving the central axis of the carrot undisturbed.)

2 stalks celery, cut as above (But I don’t really believe in that stuff, you know!)

1 clove of garlic, minced (My shocking New Year’s resolution: overcome my aversion to garlic!)

If the sausage isn’t fatty, then add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the pot and cook until things soften up. Then add:

1 cup of chopped tomatoes

A handful of chopped parsley

8 oz. lentils

A few handfuls of chopped greens (There was no kale at my supermarket, but an elderly African American woman assured me I could substitute collard greens. She then went on to question why “you white people” don’t eat collard greens, and suggested that I wash them with dishwashing soap and then cook them with smoked meat. I love my neighborhood.)

Salt and pepper – more than I think I need (Am trying to learn from the professionals here.)

Several fresh bay leaves 

A few cups of water

Cook it all down about 45 minutes or so, enjoying the smell in your apartment. 

Though the start of the new year has been rocky, I feel thankful that my senses have returned this afternoon. Of all the cold symptoms we suffer, foodies detest most the ‘diminished sense of taste and smell’. There are far worse fates than spending a few days in bed, I suppose. 

Happy new year, everyone!


  1. I made lentil soup recently. I used the leftover Christmas ham, and for the first time cooked it in the crock pot. It didn’t turn out too well: most of the liquid cooked off, and though its easy enough to add it in and reheat, its appearance is not at all appetizing. Yours looks delicious! I like the idea of the sausage and the carrots on the bi.

  2. Heidi!!! What a coincidence that sisters living halfway across the country would cook a similar meal at a similar time. LOL.

    Thanks for the compliment on my lentils. I never think any pf my food pictures are any good. Wish we could just as easily capture and share flavors. 🙂

    Maybe you could add some greens or carrots to your lentils? Might that make them more appealing? Maybe you can spoon the lentils over some basmati rice….breaking up the color and texture a bit. Or, maybe you could simply close your eyes and focus on the taste?

    My friend Carlo flew down to West Palm Beach this morning …. was happy for him but feeling envious. Wish I could be there too!

  3. I think it looks good, too! Lentil soup is often “blah” looking (I think we talked about this when you were over eating my lentil soup–I’ll brag here: you said you liked it!). I’ve been using a different recipe which calls for crushed tomatoes, so it’s at least a bit less blah, but your fresh tomatoes add a lot of nice color. My recipe called for fresh spinach, cooked until wilted, and I did not like that at all.

  4. I LOVED your lentil soup! You *should* brag about your culinary successes … and write a guest blog post. 🙂 (Always trying…)

    I agree that spinach doesn’t seem to be the right green, mostly because it totally loses its texture when it’s cooked, and then turns a greenish-brown like the lentils themselves.

    I actually used Pomi chopped tomatoes – better than fresh in this season, for sure. They’re imported from Italy, come in a box, and taste remarkably unlike canned tomatoes, IMHO. The box is way too big for me, so I typically end up freezing what I don’t use.

    I’ve still got some collard greens. Do you have any suggestions on how I could use them?

  5. I’ve never cooked collard greens in my life. I found some recipes here:

    I think the Kenyan-style collard greens with lemon looks good (maybe an inauguration dish?).

  6. Very interesting site, thanks! That recipe does look good … except for the jalapeno, which is probably the signature ingredient. I kind of liked the idea of collard green quiche … so predictably Europhile. 🙂

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