SPANISH SAUSAGE AND LENTIL SOUP
2 T olive oil
1 lb chorizo
7 oz smoked ham, chopped
2 onions, chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded & chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
3/4 t fresh thyme
1/2 t cumin
9 c chicken stock
16 oz can tomatoes
1/2 lb dry lentils
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
12 large spinach leaves, washed, trimmed and cut in a chiffonade
Heat olive oil in heavy 6- to 8-quart saucepan over medium heat.
Add sausage and cook until almost all fat is rendered. Transfer
sausage to platter. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons grease from
saucepan. Add ham, onion, green pepper and carrot. Cover and cook
15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, thyme
and cumin. Cover and cook 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut sausage into thin slices. Add to saucepan with
chicken stock, tomatoes and lentils. Reduce heat to low, cover
partially and simmer gently until lentils begin to dissolve, about
2 hours. Discard any fat from surface. Remove bay leaf. Taste
and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Simmer until just warmed
through. Add shredded spinach. Transfer soup to warmed tureen or
individual bowls and serve.
Note: This soup is even better when prepared 2 or 3 days ahead.