Serious Eats: Recipes

French in a Flash: Lentil and Sausage Soup

[Photograph: Kerry Saretsky]

There's nothing so French as a lentil. So lowly, cheap, simple, and yet, in the hands of the French, so elevated, perfect, and enhanced. Therein lies the French mystique. When I get my French fashion magazines in the mail each month and I see the beautiful Clemence Poesy or Melanie Laurent, I think how stunning, how effortless, how graceful they are. But there is something about them that is definitely simple—something lentil-like. They are not uncontested bombshells. And yet, like French lentils, they are elevated, enhanced, through simple celebration of the very thing that they are, that makes them so captivating and magnetic. And that makes French lentils good to the last bite.

I usually make my French lentil soup with a base of bacon and thyme, but the French are forever pairing hams and beans, so I'm doing this version with some spicy sausage. A good garlicky Toulouse sausage would also make a great choice. The rest is just simple peasant fare—some root vegetables, some dried legumes. But the finished produce is an absolutely starlet—magnetic, entrancing, irresistible.

About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way.

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