Helen and Alyce’s Lentil Soup/Princeton-NY Trip

Central Park in the Fall–More Princeton/NY pics at bottom

They go together

I have a great friend named Helen Aldrich. Once, many years ago, her husband Jim, my friend Sue (of Sue’s ribs), and I spent years traveling to and from D.C. on a clap-trap, stinky commuter bus. We talked books, politics, religion, love, kids and spouses. We often stopped for coffee together before heading to work (sometimes making us late). Bit by bit, our families, too, came together and we have all been friends now for a long time.

Vacations at the beach together include taking a turn in the kitchen.

The following soup recipe is one of Helen’s beach offerings, tweaked by me at home over the years. ( I also do a vegetarian lentil based on this recipe; I’ll include those directions, too.) It seemed to me that this soup makes more sense in the fall or winter than in the summer, but we’ve eaten it both ways.

Tree at Princeton–Is this a perfect fall picture or what?

Whenever you decide to make it, it’s one of the quickest and most welcoming legume soups you’ll ever make or eat. Double the recipe and have friends in on a weeknight. (You could give a pot away to a neighbor who doesn’t cook .)

I love you, darlin’. (Something Helen says often to all of us.)

(Kurt, are the pina coladas ready?)

Helen and Alyce’s Lentil Soup

Helen and Alyce’s Lentil Soup

▪ 1 pound brown or green lentils, rinsed several times ▪ 2quartsbeeforchickenbroth
▪ 1 onion, chopped
▪ 1 cup chopped carrots

▪ 2 cups chopped celery
▪ 2 cloves garlic, minced
▪ 15-ounce can chopped tomatoes
▪ 1 large potato, cubed (optional)
▪ 2 tablespoons each: fresh chopped rosemary and sage*
▪ 1 pound pork bulk breakfast sausage
▪ 1⁄2 pound cooked Andoille or kielbasa sausage or chopped hamsteak, cut into 1/2′′ pieces
▪ Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper ▪ Hotsauce(IlikeTabasco)

  1. Mix together lentils – sage in 6 or 8 quart stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn heat down to simmer and cook about 30 minutes or so until vegetables are becoming tender.
  2. Meanwhile, brown breakfast sausage in skillet until done; drain. Add to stockpot along with cut Andoille or kielbasa. Season pot with salt and pepper – and/or Tabasco— to taste.
  3. If soup is becoming too thick, add water or more beef or chicken broth. Continue to simmer until lentils are tender.
  4. Taste and adjust seasonings; serve hot.

Slow Cooker: Make as above, but cook in 6 qt. slow cooker on low for 6-8 hrs or on high for 4-5 hours.

*If using dried herbs, cut amounts in half

Nice side: cornbread with honey

Nice topping:  Grated Parmesan cheese

For vegan or vegetarian option, use vegetable broth in place of chicken or beef and omit meat. Add sautéed, chopped zucchini, or eggplant cooked in a little olive oil. Add toward end of cooking. (Can also add 1-2 cups cooked white beans.) 


{printable recipe}

For those of you interested in our visit to the east coast last week, I include a few pictures and a couple of comments here. My camera was fritzing; these are from my cell:
For starters, it was an incredibly lovely weekend to hit New York in the fall. To see our daughter was the best treat, but to see her at seminary (and in her own adult environment) was beautiful and comforting! Part of campus below; white columned building is the chapel.

Above: eating corned beef at the Carnegie Deli. What else for NY lunch?

Above: Dave at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, ready for the NY Philharmonic. The usher scolded me for taking pictures……….

Above: Alyce and Emily -Fountain at Lincoln Center

Dave and Alyce- behind the Tavern on the Green with a familiar NY character

Above: Emily and Dave enjoying Central Park

Above: Emily ready for her first time at a Broadway show……………. Wicked!

Lovely visit all around. We also found time for brunch with family in Brooklyn, a late night dinner at Nizza (go Nizza!!!) and lots of the best people watching in the world.

Sing a new song; make a fall trip. If you can’t go away, make my fall soup!



3 thoughts on “Helen and Alyce’s Lentil Soup/Princeton-NY Trip

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