Sunday, February 10, 2013

Hearty Lentil Soup (Slow Cooker)

Yields 8 servings

4 Tbls oil, olive, divided
3 Large beef bone, round with marrow (for soup)
2 Large onion, white large dice 
8 Cloves garlic, fresh minced
1 Pound sausage, kielbasa sliced into discs
3 Cups ham, cooked diced
2 Cups carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 Cups celery cut into 1/2-inch slices plus leaves
2 Large tomatoes, red, fresh, wedged
1 Pound lentils, dried rinsed and picked through
1 1/2 Tbls Frank's Red Hot 
1 to taste salt and pepper
1 tsp Southwestern Seasoning 
4 Cups stock, chicken, low-sodium 
24 oz (fl) beer, (Dark German beer such as Bock or Hefeweizen)
12 oz (wt) spinach, fresh baby spinach

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat.  Add the beef bones and sear on each side, for 1 minute.  Add the onions on top and saute for 5 minutes.  Remove bones and move to the slow cooker.  Add the garlic to the onion and saute for 30 seconds until fragrant.  Add onions and garlic to slow cooker.  Add another 1 tablespoon oil and add sausage to skillet and saute until it begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add to slow cooker.  Add another 1 tablespoon oil and add ham to skillet.  Saute until it begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.  Move to slow cooker.

Add last tablespoon of oil to skillet.  Add in celery, carrots, salt, pepper and Southwest seasoning.  Saute until they begin to color slightly, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add to slow cooker, along with tomatoes, lentils, hot sauce, stock and beer.  Your cooker may be full to the top.

Add lid and set on low and cook for 5 to 6 hours, until lentils are done.  The vegetables will still be crunchy.  Remove beef bones.  Fold in the spinach and let wilt, 5 minutes.  Serve with crusty bread with an herbed butter.

Chef's Note: If you cannot find a beef soup bone, you can make this without, just add 1 to 2 teaspoons of beef bouillon granules when sautéing the sausage.