Gingered lentil soup with kielbasa is a meal in a cup or bowl. While hearty it is not heavy and a little will go a long way in keeping the hunger pangs away if you are going to have a busy, no time for dinner evening.
2 tspn olive oil
¾ inch fresh ginger, grated
1-1/2 tspn white cumin seeds
1/8 tspn dried chili pepper flakes
3 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
8 ounces dry lentils*
6 cups vegetable stock, unsalted*
¾ link of kielbasa, cut into ½ inch slices
Salt and black pepper to taste
4 tspn fresh lime juice
1 large stalk celery, strings removed and finely chopped
Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet. Add grated ginger and cumin seeds, saute on low heat until the seeds turn a dark brown. Watch carefully so this mixture does not burn. The cumin seeds will turn dark toast brown when ready.
Add chopped carrots and onion to mixture, stir and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. You want the carrots and onion to wilt from the moisture. Add vegetable stock, lentils (lentils do not have to be soaked) and sliced kielbasi. Turn heat up to medium high to bring lentil mix to a low. Lower heat and and simmer covered for around 20 to 40 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep mixture from sticking. Start checking lentils for doneness when they have been cooking for 20 minutes
Taste soup and add salt and pepper if needed. Add chopped celery and simmer a few more minutes. Add lime juice before serving. When served, top soup with buttered oven baked rye-bread croutons or buy packaged croutons.
Makes about 6 servings.
* 1 cup (8 ounces) of dry lentils will make approximately 3 cups of cooked lentils.
* If necessary add more vegetable stock when lentils are almost done.
If you want to make your own croutons, try this:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Take 5 or 6 slices day old or stale rye bread and remove crusts.
Brush bread slices on both sides with 1-½ tbspn melted butter. Instead of butter you can spray with butter flavored PAM or brush with olive oil.
Cut bread in cubes and place in oven on an cookie sheet. Spread cubes out so they will toast evenly. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the croutons are nicely browned.
Allow to cool before serving. Place your croutons in a sealed plastic baggie until ready to be served. These are good in soups and on green salads. Good just for snacking also.
* Don’t throw bread crusts away, freeze to use in meatloaf or meatballs.