this could be another episode of ‘cleanin’ out my fridge.’ i found myself with a bunch of winter veggies, and because i will soon be leaving town i needed to use them up. this time i made a stew.

what i had in my fridge:

  • 2 wild boar italian sausage, about 6 oz each, casings removed
  • 3 small carrots
  • 5 stalks celery
  • 3 small fennel bulbs
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 bunch kale
  • a little garlic + shallot mix, minced (less than a tbsp)
  • 4 cups homemade turkey stock (which is likely more concentrated, flavorful and healthier than store bought, so take that into consideration when you add additional water, and seasoning.)

plus a few things from the pantry:

heat about a tbsp of oil to a large pot, and add sausage breaking apart with wooden spoon while cooking.

add carrots, celery, fennel, leeks, kale, garlic and shallot, with additional oil if needed. add a sprinkle of salt. let cook down until a bit soft, about 5-10 minutes. add several cranks from a peppermill.

add lentils and stock, plus 4 cups of water. bring to a boil. add kale and reduce to a simmer until the lentils are cooked, about 20-30 minutes depending on how tender you like your lentils.

s+p to taste. add a good splash of dry sherry, and mix in for a few minutes.

note: honestly before i added the sherry, i felt it needed some sort of acid, tang or just another level, and the sherry did it. i was thinking of even a citrus like lemon juice, or a vinegar, or maybe even brandy, but i think sherry was the right choice.

makes about 8-10 cups.