Impressive but simple
Made a lentil soup the other night with sausage and spinach that was restaurant quality delicious, but so simple....my favorite combination. It was so good that the night after my husband and I had it for dinner, I served it again for out of town guests. The combination of black and cayenne pepper gave it a great edge, but without overpowering the lentils. A terrific change of pace from more traditional herb or cumin flavored lentils.
I'm putting this recipe away in a special place so that I'm sure to repeat it (and have included it below). What are your favorite tried and true recipes? Those great dishes that make your company think you spent hours slaving over the stove...
Lentil Soup with Sausage and Spinach
My variations....I used leftover easter kielbasa instead of sausage, made it on the stove top, added several cups of extra beef broth, a carrot, and lots of extra cayenne pepper. Btw, it's delectable without the meat.
This one is scary easy and is a slight (very slight) variation on a Giada recipe. Bring 4 cups of chicken stock to a boil (I use the brand in the yellow carton). Add one 9 oz package of tortillini (sometimes I use cheese, sometimes something else) and cook until just tender. Serve in a bowl with chiffonades of fresh basil, lots of black pepper and sprinking of parmesan cheese. It is scary easy and people rave over it.
My mother-in-law made an appetizer for Xmas lunch that was divine - sounds odd, but it really tasted fabulous. Frozen spinach souffle - prepared according to directions - and cut into indiv pieces. Topped with an artichoke bottom (she used fresh, but whatever). Topped with lump crab meat. Topped with hollandaise.
I did a variation with saffron-citrus aoli and shrimp for valentine's day.
You can dress it up to have a really great presentation too. It's from some Junior League or Garden Club or one of those "essential Southern Lady's" cookbook.
Wow. This reminds me of a recipe I haven't thought of in years. You defrost Stouffers spinach and their corn souflee. Spread some spinach souflee on a crepe, top with a crepe, spread corn souflee on that, etc. Untill all the souflee is used up. Top with parmesan and bake until puffed up. It's quite good.
I made this soup last night and my boyfriend said it was one of the best things I have ever made. It was delicious. Like Meg suggested, I added a carrot and 2 extra cups of beef broth. I cooked it over the stove. Instead of sausage, I used ring bologna and browned it before adding. It took only 1 1/2 hours to cook. I am sure I'll be making this again. Thanks!