The lentil soup is a classic amongst all German soups. I tried out several options: Using lentils from a can and dried ones; dried lentils are the best. You can reduce the cooking time when soaking them the evening before in water, and let the pot stand over night. Just boil them the other day in the same water.
In Germany these recipes such as Lentil Soup or Split Pea Soup are called “Eintopf” which means literally “One pot”. The fact that all ingredients are cooking in one pot at the same time, makes cooking easy. Just stir frequently and boil the sausages in the soup for some minutes before it is done.
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Ingredients (serves 4)
* 2 cups dry lentils
* 1-2 medium size potatoes
* 1 medium size onion
* 1-2 carrots
* 2 thin slices of German Speck (Bacon or smoked ham)
* 2 slices of celery root and 2 celery stalks
* 1-2 tsp olive oil
* Purified or spring water
* 1 tsp German or French mustard
* 2 bay leaves
* Salt, fresh ground pepper
* 2-4 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
* Wiener or Frankfurter Sausages
– Peel potatoes and cut them into cubes.
– Peel celery root and stalks and cut them into little pieces.
– Peel carrots and cut them into slices or cubes.
– Chop onion in small cubes.
– Cut ham into small pieces.
– In a medium to big sized pot heat olive oil, add onions and let it simmer for 1 minute. Wash lentils and add them to onions. Fill up with water.
– Add potatoes, carrots, celery and bay leaves. Add some more water if needed. The lentils should always be covered with liquid. Bring it to a boil and let is simmer (covered with a lid) on low heat for about 1 hour until lentils are soft.
– While the soup is cooking add the mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper.
– Stir frequently so it won’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Add some water if the soup gets too thick.
– 10 minutes before the soup is ready add the sausages so they get warm in the soup. Of course you could boil them separately but the typical way is to cook them in the soup.
If you want you cut the sausages into pieces and add them to the soup until they are cooked. Serve the lentil soup with bread and butter. In Southern Germany the soup is combined with Spaetzle. In this case you would cook the Spaetzle separately and serve them with the soup.
For vegetarians: Instead of using ham and sausages just cook the lentils with the vegetable; it tastes as good as with the meat.