Monday, September 17, 2012

Linsen Suppe Mit Wurst (German Lentil Soup With Sausage)

Love, love, love this soup!  Had it many times while we were stationed in Berlin, Germany (hubs was in the US Air Force and I was the Tour Director for the US military forces), so we got to experience everything Germany had to offer.

I searched a long time for this recipe, talked to German friends, researched German cookbooks, and finally made a very good replica of what we remembered from our time in Germany.

This is a hearty soup, typically served in the Fall and Winter, and is somewhat considered a "working man's soup," as it's inexpensive, full of protein, fiber and other goodies that make it an all-around "good for you" soup!  Guten Appetite!

16 ounces dried lentils
1 ham hock or ham bone (I used a ham bone with lots of meat left on it)
2 tablespoons butter
1-2 potatoes, peeled and diced (if desired)
12 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce 
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg 
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon course-ground black pepper
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or 2 tablespoons bacon fat
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups sliced smoked sausage or polish sausage

In a large stockpot, sauté onions in butter until translucent. Rinse lentils, removing any grit. Place in the stockpot; add potatoes, stock, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, nutmeg, black pepper and celery salt. Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat and add ham hock or ham bone. Simmer for 2 hours. Add water as needed. (I like it thick and rich so I add very little water).

After two hours, in separate saucepan, combine veg oil and flour. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until browned, to make a roux.

Once the roux is a light chocolate color, temper the roux with a couple of ladle fulls of the soup fluid (try to leave out lentils). Add roux/soup mixture to soup, it will thicken slightly (don't forget to remove the bay leaf!).

Simmer for as long as you care to on low heat, the longer the better! Two hours at least for good flavor. When ready to serve; Remove the ham hock or ham bone.  Add sliced, smoked sausage or sliced polish sausage and simmer 5 minutes more to heat through. Serve hot, on top of a bowl of spaetzleTastes even better the next day!



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