Yield - about 2 Gallons
(See Chef Notes)
5 LBS FRESH CHICKEN SAUSAGE (See Chef Notes)
1 -1/2 GALLONS CHICKEN STOCK
1 TBSP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
2 LBS RED LENTILS
In a large stock pot and over high heat bring the chicken stock and whole chicken sausage to a simmer, lower heat, and parboil for 10 minutes. Remove the sausage, allow to cool for 5 minutes. Retain stock at a low simmer.
Slice chicken sausage into 1/2 in medallions, Then use a large Teflon coated frying pan, add olive oil, and lightly brown. Retune the browned sausage to the stock. When all sausage is browned, ladle a couple of cups or so of stock into the frying pan, deglaze the pan, then add the drippings back into the stock.
Increase heat and add, lentils, garlic, paprika, saffron, shallots and peppers. Return to a boil, then reduce heat and allow the soup to simmer for 35 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
Remove about 2 cups, mix with the tahini to dissolve all of the tahini. Return mixture to the soup, use a stick blender to puree' the soup. You don't want to chop up the sausage, so try to avoid them. And you don't need to get every lentil mashed, just some to your liking.
1/2 CUP HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM
If you wish to make a richer soup. Allow the soup to cool slightly, and whisk in 1/2 to as much as 1 cup of heavy whipping cream.
Serve in a warmed ceramic or earthen bowl, garnish with parsley. Catering Chefs would want to use a chaffer, but with only one wick; this soup does not have to be piping hot.
These Chef's Notes are important for this recipe, so take heed! This recipe is not a traditional lentil soup recipe, it is my Cajunized version! For you catering Chefs, this is an easy, inexpensive and crowd pleasing soup. It is thick and rich, you might want to call it a bisque!
You just can't get Chicken Sausage anywhere, and I have found that the best is from my favorite sausage meat packer! Poche's Meat Market, in Breaux Bridge LA. .
Red Lentils are important for the color of the dish, you want it to be a very light yellow/red color. SOOOO, don't substitute regular brown lentils.
La Chinata's Smoked Paprika is the paprika of choice for making the best paellas, check out www.lachinata.com . It has a wonderful full and rich flavor. I have also found it in our local T J Max's food section. About the only paprika that I would recommend as a replacement is one of the Hungarian paprika.
O'rale! Zaffron Flower is available from any of our local Latin oriented grocery stores. It is REAL saffron, but 1/10th the cost! You can buy a 1/2 oz bag for only 99 cents!!! WOW!
I have found the dried shallots in our local Asian grocery stores. They will rejuvenate in the hot soup and become unnoticeable.
Middle Eastern food is fantastic!!! (gifs courtesy of Linda Sawaya and Saudi Aramco World)
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Chef Emile L. Stieffel, Aurora Catering, Inc. email address: ChefEmile@CustomCatering.net
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