Why, oh why must bedtime be such a struggle? It never fails, come time to brush teeth and get in bed, that’s when the badly behaved monsters come out. Not just the kids, I take full responsibility for my part – impatience, thy name is mama at bedtime. I hate it. Each night I promise myself, no yelling tonight, no frustration and then just when I think we might make it to sleeping child time without an outburst from me and naughty testing from them – bang. I end up hating myself once again and they go to sleep with the taste of negativity. They never seem to remember in the morning, but of course I do.
At least tonight’s bedtime ritual started out ok, with their usual snack before bed. It was bowls of fresh, hot soup. Who eats soup in the summer, you might ask? My great-grandfather claimed nothing was better than hot soup on a hot day as it makes you sweat and then you cool down. There may be something flawed in that logic but nonetheless hot soup always has a place on our menu. Try this great soup using fresh vegetables; it is a great way to use the sorrel you got from the CSA and don’t know what to do with it.
Sausage, Lentil, and Rice Soup
- 1 lb raw turkey sausage, without casing
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 3-4 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 bell pepper (any color), chopped
- 2 cups chopped or julienned sorrel or spinach
- (you can also use corn fresh off the cob, shelled peas, chopped green beans, chopped kale or chard)
- 1 large can chopped tomatoes
- 3-4 tomato cans full of water
- 1 cup dried lentils
- 1 cup rice
- oregano and basil (fresh if you’ve got them, dried otherwise)
- 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- drizzle of olive oil to cook sausage
Cook sausage in the bottom of a large soup pot in the oil, chopping it up so you get little bites. Add in the chopped onions and cook a couple more minutes. Add the tomatoes and scrape the bottom of the pot to get up all the fond. Add the water, rest of the vegetables, lentils, and rice. Cook until the lentils and rice are soft (a couple of hours should suffice.) You can transfer the soup to a crock pot and leave it for several hours at this point. When soup is basically cooked, add in herbs, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper. Cook another half an hour then readjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a green salad, fresh bread, nothing at all, iced tea – whatever strikes your fancy.