Cooking

Soup of Green Lentils and Tuscan Cabbage with Sage and Truffle Oil

posted: 06/30/10

Take Home Chef, Episode 1: Kathryn's Menu

INGREDIENTS

  • 16 cups water
  • 1 pound ham hock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound green lentils, rinsed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and diced small
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced small
  • 1 8-ounce bunch Tuscan cabbage (Calvo Nero), stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon truffle oil

PREPARATION:

  1. Combine the water, ham hock and bay leaves in a large pot. Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 1 hour, occasionally skimming the stock to remove the foam that rises to the top. Discard the ham hock or reserve it for another use.
  2. Add the lentils and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Decrease the heat to medium and simmer gently until the lentils are almost tender, about 18 minutes. Using a fine-meshed spoon, transfer half of the lentils to a baking sheet and set them aside to cool.
  3. Continue simmering the remaining lentils until they are fully cooked and tender, about 25 minutes longer. You know the lentils are done when they can be mashed with ease when pressed between your thumb and forefinger.
  4. Using a fine-meshed spoon, transfer half of the fully-cooked lentils (about 1 cup) to a blender. Add 1/4 cup of the stock and blend until a puree forms. Stir the lentil puree back into the soup. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saut? 3 minutes. Add the carrots and saut? 2 minutes. Add the thyme, garlic and celery. Cook until the vegetable soften, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer the vegetables to the soup.
  6. Add the partially-cooked lentils and Tuscan cabbage to the soup, and return to a simmer. Continue simmering until the cabbage and partially-cooked lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Divide the soup among 4 warm soup bowls. Drizzle 1/4 teaspoon of truffle oil over each bowl of soup and serve.
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