After a few hours of clearing and digging out, hot and spicy curried lentil soup seemed the perfect foil to 18 new inches of snow, in what is becoming a record-breaking winter. This soup is filled with hearty, complex flavor, and its aromas filled the house in late afternoon.
1 16-oz. bag dried lentils, looked over and rinsed with cold water
8 cups cold water
2 cans beef broth (about 3 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped (including some with celery leaves, minced)
4 large carrots, chopped
1 smoked ham hock
1 bay leaf
1 lb. Polish beef kielbasa, cut in 1/2" "half moons"
4 cloves minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
One package "Tasty Bite" chickpeas (seasoned with cumin and ginger)*
* Available at Costco (www.costco.com)
To water and beef broth, add lentils, ham hock, vegetables, kielbasa, and all other ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 1-1/2 hours, partially covered and stirring every 15-20 minutes. During last 15 minutes of cooking, stir in chickpeas.
When peas are thoroughly heated, serve with French bread and salad.