It has Slavic origins that can be traced back to vampires. Potentially Dracul himself...on a slightly more vegetarian night.
Ancient Egypt, the Near East (as opposed to the Far one), India and Iran -- even entire continents love this bean. Or pea. Bean-pea.
Polska kielbasa (pronounced keel-boss-ee by my husband and father-in-law) is a super-flavorful sausage that makes this soup.
My father-in-law puts this meal together on New Year's Day, a tradition passed down from his mother.
We make it about once a month. It's hearty, healthy, delicious and, quite honestly, trumps the other soup recipes I've tested recently (i.e. split-pea, black bean and sweet potato, butternut squash with ginger -- all barely edible).
The soup is simple -- carrots, celery, onion, sausage and, of course, the high-protein/high-fiber lentils.
Although delicious, it did not need the extra additions. As humble as its few ingredients may seem, it is fantastic just the way it is.
from my father-in-law
- 4 to 5 full-sized carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 to 5 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 pkg. (16 oz.) lentils (I prefer regular or "green" lentils, although red works, too)
- 1 lb. polska kielbasa, pre-cooked, chopped (I use Hillshire Farm brand)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Ritz crackers, for serving, optional
Rinse and pick over lentils.
Place lentils in a large pot and fill with 6 to 8 cups of water. Add carrots, celery, onion and kielbasa. If needed, adjust water so that about 2/3 of the soup ingredients are covered with water.
Salt and pepper to taste. (I add just a dash of salt and a few "cracks" of freshly ground pepper.)
Bring to simmer and cover partially with lid. Cook for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Test carrots for doneness. (I prefer to simmer until the beans break down a little, as it makes for a thicker broth.) Serve with crackers.