Saturday, February 25, 2012

Freezer Cooking~ Sausage & Lentil Stew

While Brian is working on a two weekend project, aka finally building a laundry/book shelf into an alcove of our bedroom I had a little time on my hands. I had two freezer meals that I wanted to make a hearty sausage and lentil stew and a four cheese macaroni bake. I decided to do the lentil stew since it used sausage that I needed to cook and freeze before it went bad in the fridge. The house smells delicious and it is so good I almost don't want to put it in the freezer!

Sausage and Lentil Stew 
5 mild Italian sausage links, cut into slices (because that is how many comes in a package, the original recipe I was following called for four, but who wants just one lone sausage sitting in the fridge or freezer)
1 bunch of kale, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 tbsp minced garlic
8 cups chicken broth (I increased the broth from original recipe- so even though I used one extra sausage link the broth needed to be upped as well because otherwise it wouldn't have even qualified for a "stew" TRUST ME it will be thick enough!)
1 cup of dried lentils (I had yellow on hand so I used that)
1 cup of long-grain white rice
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp Italian parsley minced, OR 1 tbsp dried parsley

1. Chop all veggies ahead of time and put in a bowl on the counter where you are working. In a big pot brown the sausage. Add veggies (kale, onion, green pepper) garlic, and half the broth. Cook for about 5 min.
2. Add lentils, rice, cumin, and remaining broth. Bring to a boil then reduce to medium, cover, and cook for 25 min. Rice will be cooked, lentils soft, and it will be thick. Add black pepper and parsley, stir to combine.

**To freeze, allow to cool and pour into a sealable plastic container.
**To cook (might want to put on a label for the freezer)
Thaw
1. empty soup into a large stockpot, if too thick add a cup or two more stock to desired thickness, heat over medium let simmer for 20 min.
2. Serve soup in large bowls, with crusty bread and a salad! Dinner served!

Original recipe found on Relish! 

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