Prairie Fare: Celebrate soup month with satisfying recipe

'I could use some help in the kitchen," I said to my three kids who were on their phones or computers. I decided they needed to be dragged away from technology and immersed in real-life experiences.

‘I could use some help in the kitchen,” I said to my three kids who were on their phones or computers. I decided they needed to be dragged away from technology and immersed in real-life experiences.
My 19-year-old son somewhat reluctantly entered the kitchen. I set up a spot for him with bags of carrots and celery from the refrigerator, a colander to rinse them, a knife and cutting board.
I think I detected some discreet eye rolling from my son. He is quite clever, however, at avoiding verbal commentary when his mother is in meal-management mode.
My 16-year-old daughter began peeling and chopping onions and mincing garlic.
For some reason, her eyes are immune to the usual tear-inducing effects of flavorful onion bulbs, so she is often on “onion duty.” She began sautéing them with added spices, and soon our kitchen was filled with delicious aromas.
My 11-year-old measured ingredients for whole-wheat bread dough in our bread machine to go with the soup. She has been making a different type of bread every week for several months, so this was “easy peasy.”
My husband wandered by to see what was cooking. We were “fully staffed” in the kitchen, so he meandered into another room in anticipation of a delicious meal.
What was left for me to do besides overseeing my culinary squad? I prepared the lentils, the easiest job of all. All I had to do was sort the lentils in case there were any stones or other debris present. Then I put them in a bowl and covered them with boiling water.
I have been incorporating more lentils in our meals because they are high in fiber and good sources of protein, vitamins and minerals. They also are very inexpensive and take very little time to prepare.
Soon we had flavorful soup simmering and the sound of bread dough mixing in the bread machine. Having eight hands busy in the kitchen made the process go quickly, plus we were doing our part to celebrate January, National Soup Month.

Lentil-Kielbasa Soup

8 ounces lentils (uncooked)
3 tablespoons cooking oil (olive, canola, sunflower, etc.)
2 cups onions, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon cumin
2 cups carrots, cut in small chunks
2 cups celery, cut in small chunks
1½ quarts chicken broth (homemade or canned), reduced-sodium
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
14 ounces kielbasa sausage (reduced-fat)
Sort and rinse the lentils. Remove any stones. Place the dry lentils in a bowl and cover them with boiling water. Allow to stand while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
In a large stockpot, heat the oil, then add the onions, garlic, thyme and cumin.
Cook until the onions are translucent. Add the carrot and celery and sauté for about 10 minutes. Add the chicken broth, tomato paste and lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Allow to simmer uncovered for about an hour. Add the kielbasa and simmer until the kielbasa is hot. Serve.

Makes 10 servings. Each serving has 180 calories, 11 grams (g) of fat, 10 g of protein, 9 g of carbohydrate, 3 g of fiber and 710 milligrams of sodium.


What To Read Next
Get Local