Sunday, September 20, 2015

Slow Cooker German Lentils with Sausage *

This one just did not work for us.  It smelled amazing, but even after 10 hours, the lentils still hadn't softened up enough.  The nutmeg kind of threw off the flavor combo too.  It just didn't go well, in my opinion.  I doubt we'll be trying this one again.

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ FiveHeartHome)

1 pound dried brown lentils, picked over, rinsed and drained
10 cups chicken stock or broth
1 pound grated carrots (or less, depending on your preference)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoon dried parsley (or 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 to 2 cups of cubed kielbasa sausage (or ham)
Apple cider vinegar for serving, optional

Place lentils in slow cooker. Add chicken stock, carrots, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, parsley, garlic powder, celery salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in sausage.
Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or until lentils are tender.
Before serving, remove bay leaf and stir in 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, if desired.
Tips, Tricks, & Variations:
You may use green lentils if your grocery store doesn't carry brown, but I find that they take longer to cook before becoming tender.
Since the type of chicken broth that you use can dictate the saltiness of the dish, taste at the end of the cooking time and add more salt, if necessary.
I usually buy a 1 pound link of sausage, use half of it in this soup, and then freeze the other half to use the next time I make the recipe.
You may brown the sausage by sautéing it in a pan before adding it to the slow cooker, if desired.
The first time you make this recipe, watch the liquid level carefully and add more broth if necessary. If you're at home, give it a quick stir halfway through. About an hour before you're ready to eat, stir and check the doneness of the lentils and turn the crock pot up to high for the last hour of cooking time if they're still too firm.
It's normal for the top and sides of this soup to become darker in color. The flavor is not affected, so just stir and everything will blend together.
If you're not sure about using the apple cider vinegar, start with a few drops and taste before adding more. But I really do think it makes a difference (for the better)!

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