Whenever I see Merguez sausages as a specialty grocer I buy a few packages. This recipe was the first time I ever used them to flavor a soup and it proved to be a good concept.
4-6 Merguez sausages
1 medium yellow onion
2small interior stalks of celery
2t dried thyme leaves
2T extra virgin olive oil
2C dal (orange lentils)
Water to cover by 2” (8-10C)
Finely dice the onion and celery stalks with leaves and saute in a small amount of olive oil before adding the thyme.
Slice the Merguez sausages into 1/4 –1/2 pieces and add to the onions and celery. continue to saute until the meat looks lightly cooked. Browning the meat will make the soup richer in taste, but doing so may also over cook the onions which could burn and become bitter tasting. If you want to brown the meat, first push the onions and celery to the edge of the pot and move that portion of the pot slightly off the burner.
Rinse the dal, add to the pot and fill the pot with water so there is 2” of water above the surface of the other ingredients. Boil the water, stir the ingredients and turn the heat down to low. Cover with a lid and stir every 15 minutes until the soup is ready. The red lentils will be soft when the soup is ready.
When I try this recipe again I plan to add diced Yukon gold potatoes towards the end of the cooking process, to enhance the texture of this dish. By the time I took it off the heat, the lentils had completely broken down.