1/11/17 ChefElla's Lentil Soup with Spinach & Smoked Turkey Sausage

I heard earlier this week that there was snow in 49 of the 50 United States.  Whether or not this is true I am not sure, but it made me think if everyone is cold right now, maybe they want something warm to eat like my Lentil Soup with Spinach and Smoked Turkey Sausage.  It is easy to make and it will help you get warm after a long day of sledding, shoveling, running errands, or just trying to stay out of the cold.

1.     Wash your hands.

2.     For this recipe you will need measuring cups and spoons, a knife and cutting board, a mixing spoon, a cookie sheet, a soup pot and the stove.

If you are not allowed to use a knife or the stove by yourself, you can ask an adult for help.

ChefElla’s Lentil Soup with Spinach and Smoked Turkey Sausage (6-8 servings)1 lb.                      Yellow Lentils (You can use split peas or other colored lentils if you would like.)

1 Cup                  Onion, Red or White, Small Dice (about 1 medium onion)

½ Cup                 Carrot, Small Dice

½ Cup                 Celery, Small Dice

1 ea.                    Smoked Turkey Sausage, cut into bite sized pieces (1 package is 13oz.

                           -You can substitute smoked ham or smoked turkey leg, or you can leave it out if                                you prefer.

1 Cup.                  Chopped Spinach, Kale, Hearty Greens, or Celery Tops

2 Tbl.                   Olive Oil

1 ea.                     Bay Leaf

2 ½ Qts                Chicken or Vegetable Broth, Low Sodium (80 oz.)

3.     Pour your lentils onto one end of the cookie sheet.  Using your hands pick through the lentils by moving them from one end of the pan to the other.  Look for any discolored lentils, small bits, or rocks.  Lentils can sometimes have rocks in them and you do not want to eat one.

4.     Prepare onions, carrots, celery, smoked sausage, and spinach.

5.     Heat your soup pot on high heat.  Add 2 tablespoon of oil to the pot and add the onions, carrots and celery.  Mix well to coat with the oil.  Turn the pan to medium high heat.  Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.  Add the turkey sausage and chopped spinach, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally.

6.     Add the lentils and the chicken broth to the pot and mix well.  Add the bay leaf.  Bring the soup to a boil and turn to medium heat.

7.     Let the soup simmer, bubbling but not boiling, for 45-60 minutes or until the lentils are tender to the bite.  Remove the bay leaf from the pot and discard.

8.     Remove from the heat and serve.

9.     If you are not making your lentil soup with the smoked turkey sausage you may want to add some salt and pepper.

Serve your lentil soup with your favorite bread, top with croutons or crackers, or top with some fresh parmesan.



Ella’s Helpers

ChefElla’s helpers can help by:

Measuring the ingredients

Picking through the lentils

Washing and cleaning the vegetables

Adding the ingredients to the pot

Older helpers can help by:

Dicing vegetables

Cooking the vegetables and the soup

3/4/15 ChefElla's Irish Lamb Stew


On St. Patrick's Day it is traditional for people to wear something green and eat corned beef.  Everywhere you go during the week you can find, ruben sandwiches, corned beef and cabbage, little red potatoes, and carrots.  While eating corned beef on St. Patrick's Day has become an annual American tradition a there are other great foods from Ireland.  Shepard's Pie, Cottage Pie, Oatmeal, Soda Bread, Black Pudding, and of course Irish Stew.  While you can still eat corned beef this St. Patrick's Day suprise your friends and family this year by making them something a little different, and remember to wear green so you don't get pinched.

1.  Wash your hands.

2.  For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a large saute pan, a wooden spoon, a small bowl, a potato peeler, a knife, a cutting board, and a large stock pot.

If you are not allowed to use a knife or the stove by yourself you can ask an adult for help.

ChefElla's Irish Lamb Stew (Yields 4-6 servings )


1 lb.        Lamb Stew Meat, Cut Meat Into Bite Size Pieces (If you do not like lamb you can substitute beef)

2 ea.       Leeks, Medium Diced, (about 2 cups diced)

-Cut off root end.  Cut leeks where the light green and dark green leaves meet.  Discard dark green leaf ends.  (If you make your own vegetable stock leek leaves are a great addition)  Cut leeks in half the long way.  Put the leeks flat side down, and cut halves in half again the long way.  Cut leeks into ¼ inch pieces.  Leeks are generally dirty and you may need to rinse them under cold water to wash away any dirt.

1 ea.       Large Carrot, Medium Diced, (about 1 ½ cups diced)

2 ea.       Celery Stalks, Medium Diced, (about 1 ½ cups diced)

1 tsp       Garlic, Minced

1 tsp       Rosemary, Dried, If you have fresh Rosemary you can substitute 1 tsp of fresh Rosemary leaves

            -Chop fresh or dried Rosemary on your cutting board until it is minced.

1 tsp       Kosher Salt

½ tsp      Black Pepper

2 Tbl       All Purpose Flour, or Gluten Free Flour

4 Tbl       Olive Oil

4 Cups   Beef Stock, Low Sodium

1 Cup     Water

12oz       Guinness Beer, 1 bottle

-Guinness is a traditional Irish dry stout beer that was first brewed in 1759.  When you cook the beer in your stew it will cook out the alcohol and leave a rich full flavor in your stew.

-If you would prefer not to use alcohol in your cooking simply add one more cup of beef stock in place of the Guinness.

1 ½ lb     Baking Potatoes, Peeled and Medium Diced

3.  In a large sauté pan heat 2 Tbl of olive oil over medium high heat.  When the pan is hot carefully add the lamb pieces.  Turn pan to high heat.  Let meat cook for 2 minutes and then turn meat over and cook for another 2 minutes.  Put meat on a plate.  Pour the juice and oil over the meat.

4.  Heat soup pot over medium high heat.  Add 2 Tbl of olive oil.  When the pot is hot add the leeks, carrots, celery, and garlic.  Cook for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally.  Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the pot and mix well.  Cook for 2 minutes stirring frequently.  Add Guinness to the pot and mix thoroughly with the vegetables.

5.  Add lamb and left over juices, beef stock, salt, pepper, rosemary, and water to the pot.  Bring to a slow simmer and cook for 30 minutes. 

6.  Add Potatoes bring back to a slow simmer and cook for 20 more minutes.  Check the potatoes for doneness.  If the potatoes are not done cook for 5 more minutes and check again.

Serve your stew with Irish Soda Bread, a traditional dark brown bread, or serve with your favorite bread.

Remember to wear something green and have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day.