I've never really cooked with lentils before. I think they fascinate me because they look like those little chocolate mint lentil candies. And, yes, I did just realize that this is why the candies are called lentils . . . oops. I also love hearty fall-ish stews and squashes now that the weather is starting to finally feel seasonable. So, it's time to make some lentil stew with sausages and buttercup squash. And use up the leftover sausages from last weekend's quiche. Success.
I came upon this recipe (at the perfect time, since I had some sausages to use up) on a new food blog/recipe site I found called Simply Recipes and I think I might have found a new online cookbook. There's so much on it, I've spent a little time looking around and I feel like I've barely scratched the surface. Here's the lentil stew recipe. I must say, it's perfect for a gray fall day like today. And very appropriately, it has thyme in it! How perfect.
The nice thing about soups is that they simmer for so long that you have time to clean up the dishes, cut up the squash (still with that same bread knife . . . I feel like I'm getting quite accomplished with this) and clean up the counter.
I feel like squashes are my new favorite fall vegetable. Unfortunately, this one had a bad spot that I had to cut out, so it looks a little less, well, whole than the others. I feel like my apartment mates are going to get sick of all the squash seeds in the trash all the time. Oh, and to continue my squash tangent, I have a HUGE butternut squash sitting in my cupboard waiting to be cut up. With the bread knife. It's going to be an adventure. Stay tuned.
By the way, who knew that lentils had to be rinsed and there can be stones in them? Not I.
I also did make some adjustments to the recipe. I'm not a fan of those recipes that are meat with more meat and then for added flavor, even more meat. So I left out the bacon. I used olive oil instead of the grease. And I left out the onion. I'm sure it would have tasted wonderful with the bacon, but no thanks. And also, because I had the sun dried tomato chicken sausage, I used that instead of Italian sausage. I must say, it started to smell much more exciting when the sausages went in. But honestly, I think I would have been just fine with the lentil stew without the sausages. Maybe I'll try it sometime.
I was nervous for a minute, because it didn't look very hearty or "stewy". But it definitely is. After simmering for 40 minutes, it is. Thick soups are definitely my favorite.