A shrub is a beverage made from fruit, some sort of acid, and a sugar. They were popular in colonial America as a means of preserving fruit without refrigeration. The vinegar breaks down the fruit and the sugar sweetens everything up a bit. The result is a tangy, sweet, complex mixture that is very refreshing when mixed with soda water.
This is one of my favorite soups. As soon as the cold weather sets in, I make this at least twice a month.
- 1 lb sausage, casing removed
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 leeks, chopped. You can use a regular onion if you don’t have leeks.
- 2 carrots, diced
- 4 medium potatoes (or 5/6 small, 2 large), diced
- 2 quarts chicken broth
- 1 cup red lentils, picked over for rocks
- 2 tsp thyme
- 2 cups chopped greens. I used tatsoi here, but often use kale or spinach.
- Black pepper
- Brown the sausage in a large pot. I prefer my enamel Dutch oven, but a stock pot works, too. Break it up as you brown it.
- Add in the onions and carrots. Let them sweat/get soft without burning. If you are adding other aromatics like parsnips or celery, now is the time to add those, too.
- Add in the potatoes and let them get a little soft, too.
- Add in the chicken broth. If you make strong homemade broth like I do, adding one quart of broth and one quart of water is okay, too.
- Add in the lentils and thyme and bring everything to a boil.
- Cover and turn the heat down to low.
- Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add in the chopped greens.
- Simmer for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Taste and add salt/pepper as needed. I usually add a healthy amount of both.
If at any point it looks like it is getting thicker than you like, add more water. If it is too soupy for you, cook it longer.
I regularly improvise on the ingredient list here. The only constants are sausage and lentils. Sometimes I leave out the potatoes. Sometimes I add parsley or parsnips or both. Sometimes celery or celeriac. Sometimes I use leeks instead of onions. Red lentils are my go-to, but I use whatever I have on-hand. Red, green, brown, yellow, black all work, but some types cook faster than others. Greens other than kale work, too. I use whatever I have on-hand: Spinach, bok choy, tatsoi, etc. In fact, in these photos I used tatsoi.
To spice it up, I love adding a teaspoon of harissa powder to my bowl. The coriander and red chili powder give it a great flavor.