french lentil soup with kale + bacon and waffled scamorza “en carroza”

The perfect winter soup (gluten-free) + battered, grilled Hawaiian bread sammies stuffed with smoked mozz. Not sure it gets much better! Full recipe at www.thepigandquill.com. #soup #sandwich #winter #recipe

The perfect winter soup (gluten-free) + battered, grilled Hawaiian bread sammies stuffed with smoked mozz. Not sure it gets much better! Full recipe at www.thepigandquill.com. #soup #sandwich #winter #recipeAloha from Maui! We’re babymooning this week (holy almost 26 weeks — where do the months go?) and falling quickly in love with everything the island has to offer. So while the rest of the country is contending with the plight of the season, we’re wallowing in the misery of cool ocean breezes and more shave ice than is probably healthy. I might just birth a walking sno-cone. Nobody act surprised.

Also, to those of you facing said plight: I’m sorry. If it makes you feel at all better, I’ve seen plenty of your neighbors getting their serious burn on, and it doesn’t look like a fun time. (Mister Cincinnati Reds Hat, I’m looking at you.) So you know, you’re maybe better off. Because even a Bucks Championship (!!!) can’t take the sting out of sunburn.

Should we get on with this soup dealio?
I schmink so.

The perfect winter soup (gluten-free) + battered, grilled Hawaiian bread sammies stuffed with smoked mozz. Not sure it gets much better! Full recipe at www.thepigandquill.com. #soup #sandwich #winter #recipe
Earthy, porky lentil soup is one of those things I could eat all year long for pretty much any/every meal. It’s hearty and savory without ever feeling overly heavy or indulgent. Ok, maybe when I eat two and then three bowls in a sitting, it starts to feel a little heavy. But I blame it on the bacon, you guys! When bacon meets broth meets lentils, too much good stuff happens. That smoky, salty porkyness gets into all.the.things in the best way possible. And when you account for the approximate butt-ton of greens that get crammed into the pot, you’re pretty much looking at kale salad’s waaaaaaaaaay hotter older brother. Or maybe cousin. Like, a Southern cousin with a charming little drawl and a horse farm and a closet full of completely non-ironic plaid shirts.

I like it.
And it gets even better.

The perfect winter soup (gluten-free) + battered, grilled Hawaiian bread sammies stuffed with smoked mozz. Not sure it gets much better! Full recipe at www.thepigandquill.com. #soup #sandwich #winter #recipeWhen I was in college, I fried up only too many iterations of Nigella’s mozzarella en carozza, which is, if you’ve never had the pleasure — and sweet Jesus, if that is the case, I pity you something fierce — nothing more than fresh mozz smooshed between tender white bread, dredged in milk/flour/egg — and fried until crispy. It’s every bit as heavenly as the description suggests: golden and crunchy on the outside with a silky, molten center.

The only issue with snacking this ridiculously good is that it’s tremendously difficult to improve upon. So I won’t claim to have done that here — nope, not in the least. But I did tweak it, just a little. Scamorza or smoked mozz on the inside, King’s Hawaiian on the outside. A little S + P in the dredging flour.

And a trip through the waffle iron.

I’d say I added that last move because it’s healthier than frying (it is). Or easier than frying (it is). Or, like, so much more 2015 than frying (good gravy, I have no idea). But really it comes down to the crunchy, smoky cheese lace that happens all up ’round the edges.

Dunk that B in a bowl of porky lentils and I don’t care if it’s -20F with wind chill or 80 degrees and sunny; it’s happy belly time. *eyebrow waggle*

The perfect winter soup (gluten-free) + battered, grilled Hawaiian bread sammies stuffed with smoked mozz. Not sure it gets much better! Full recipe at www.thepigandquill.com. #soup #sandwich #winter #recipe
Oh, and just in case you’re not a waffler (or are you? or aren’t you? or are you?), I’ve also provided basic frying instructions per Nigella’s classic preparation in the recipe notes, below.

Aloha and happy souping, friends.
Wish you were here!
Em

The perfect winter soup (gluten-free) + battered, grilled Hawaiian bread sammies stuffed with smoked mozz. Not sure it gets much better! Full recipe at www.thepigandquill.com. #soup #sandwich #winter #recipeThe perfect winter soup (gluten-free) + battered, grilled Hawaiian bread sammies stuffed with smoked mozz. Not sure it gets much better! Full recipe at www.thepigandquill.com. #soup #sandwich #winter #recipeThe perfect winter soup (gluten-free) + battered, grilled Hawaiian bread sammies stuffed with smoked mozz. Not sure it gets much better! Full recipe at www.thepigandquill.com. #soup #sandwich #winter #recipeThe perfect winter soup (gluten-free) + battered, grilled Hawaiian bread sammies stuffed with smoked mozz. Not sure it gets much better! Full recipe at www.thepigandquill.com. #soup #sandwich #winter #recipe

French Lentil Soup with Kale + Bacon (Gluten-Free)
 
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By:
Makes: 4 generous servings
Ingredients
  • 4 oz good bacon, chopped
  • 2 large (or 3 small) carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup leeks, white and light green parts, washed and thinly sliced (or about 1 small yellow onion diced)
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp dried Turkish oregano
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 T red wine vinegar, plus (optionally) more for serving
  • 1 cup French green lentils, picked over for odd little bits
  • 6 cups beef stock (when I don't have liquid stock on hand, I always use this)
  • 5 oz (about 4-5 handfuls) kale, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • sea salt + freshly cracked black pepper
  • good olive oil and parmesan cheese for serving (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add bacon to a cold Dutch oven or soup pot and turn flame to med-high. Cook until bacon renders about half its fat and pan begins to take on color, about 5 mins.
  2. Add carrots, leeks, pepper flakes, thyme and oregano and cook until veggies begin to give off liquid. Add vinegar. Deglaze pan, scraping up all brown bits from bacon.
  3. Add lentils and beef stock and bring to a boil; then reduce to low, cover and simmer for 30 mins or until lentils are tender.
  4. Add kale, pushing down to submerge in broth, and cook for another 5 mins or so, until leaves have wilted substantially but kale remains green. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper, if necessary.
  5. Serve soup piping hot in big bowls with a scant drizzle of vinegar, olive oil and a scattering of parm, if desired. Enjoy!
Notes
If it seems odd that I show the leek measurement in cups here, it's because I inevitably end up freezing about a ton of trimmed, cleaned leeks in the spring and using them all winter long, so I just scoop them out a cup (or so) at a time as needed. (Highly recommended if you're a leek freak, like me!)

Serving this soup with the indulgent scamorza sandwiches here is always a treat, but it's also great with your favorite crusty bread or croutons. And, as I will always recommend when making soups: make a full recipe, even if you don't need it. It reheats wonderfully. 🙂
Waffled Scarmorza "en Carroza"
 
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These tasty little sandwiches are something like the love child of a grilled cheese and a Monte Cristo -- in short: delicious. I've cooked them up in a waffle iron for a snackier interpretation, but be sure to see the note below for the traditional pan-fried method.
By:
Makes: 4 sandwiches
Ingredients
  • 8 slices good, squishy white sandwich bread (I used sliced King's Hawaiian bread)
  • generous ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 8 oz smoked scamorza (or smoked mozzarella), about 1 large ball
  • light frying oil for waffle iron or griddle
  • sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat waffle iron to medium-high. (See note for pan-fried version.) Brush iron lightly with oil.
  2. Pour milk, flour and beaten egg into three separate shallow dishes. Generously season flour with salt and pepper and mix well.
  3. Thinly slice scamorza into about 8 pieces. Arrange two slices of cheese between two slices of bread, leaving about a ½" border between the cheese and the crust. Firmly smoosh edges of bread together.
  4. Lightly dip both sides of sandwich into milk, then seasoned flour, then egg. It doesn't need a thick batter, so you can be quick about it. Just a light coating of each will do. Transfer dredged sandwich to waffle iron and griddle until timer chimes (or until sandwich is deeply golden and escaping cheese is crisped and browned).
  5. Repeat to make remaining sandwiches. (You can keep prepared sandwiches hot in a warm oven if desired.)
  6. Cut sandwiches into halves or quarters and enjoy alone or with soup for dunking. Yum!
Notes
This recipe is inspired by Nigella's wildly delicious Mozzarella in Carroza, which I fried up with reckless abandon in my college years.

In this version, I've swapped the traditional method of frying the (typically crustless) sandwiches in hot olive oil for a quick griddle in a waffle iron, which requires a bit less oil and produces a snackier (though admittedly less pocket-y) result. Both versions are undoubtedly delicious.

To prepare these more traditionally -- i.e. without the waffle iron -- prep the sandwiches as directed (removing the crusts from the bread, if desired), and fry them in a shimmering pool of hot olive or avocado oil until golden and crispy.
The perfect winter soup (gluten-free) + battered, grilled Hawaiian bread sammies stuffed with smoked mozz. Not sure it gets much better! Full recipe at www.thepigandquill.com. #soup #sandwich #winter #recipe

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24 Comments on “french lentil soup with kale + bacon and waffled scamorza “en carroza””

    1. Thanks Grace! We’re definitely splurging a little and having the best ol’ time. 🙂 Now get out that iron and get…ironing! (Side note: writing this made me realize that a waffle iron is the only iron I’ve owned for 10+ years. Apparently I prioritize crinkled food over pressed clothing. Which maybe explains a great deal about the public’s reaction to my daily appearance…) Enjoy enjoy!!

    1. Gurl, put your mind back together and get summa this goodness in yo pretty face NOW! (Also, may I just say it hardly compares to your army stew, over which I was nearly weeping. Those folks at SPAM really needs to work on a preggers-approved variety!)

  1. You had me at lentil & bacon, but when you added that waffled mozzarella cheese, I started drolling, which ain’t pretty! Will have to try this out, although I’m not sure my Hello Kitty waffle iron will do the trick! Have fun in Maui!

    1. I have no idea what you’re talking about — I treat drool as a fashion accessory. If it catches the right light, it’s got great fire! 😉 And I’m sure your HK iron will be just fine; it doesn’t have to be deeply waffled to be deeply delicious!

  2. How have I never heard of Mozzarella in Carroza? That needs to happen pronto, holy crap! Sounds like you guys are having a fabulous babymoon <3

    1. Pronto-er than pronto, if possible, Alice! Seriously, the sooner this melty, cheesy, encrusted concoction gets into your face, the better. 🙂 Enjoy!

  3. “FRENCH LENTIL SOUP WITH KALE + BACON AND WAFFLED SCAMORZA “EN CARROZA” …. everything is right in the world again when I come across this yummy looking soup of yours, Em. 🙂

    Can you make a big pot when you get back, and I will trade yours with my crispy pork belly, yes?

    Have a wonderful trip.

    1. OH MY GOODNESS YES. Let’s do that. Best trade ever. (Kinda like a grown-up version of the ultimate kids lunch swap!) You’re a genius, Pang. Now, to figure out the best way to ship soup… 😉

  4. “With a closet full of non-ironic plaid shirts”. BAHAHAHAHA. I love you. Even though I am totally jealous of this whole babymooning in Maui thing. EAT ALL THE SAIMIN FOR ME…and if you happen to come back with like an extra bag of li hing mui crack seed in your suit case, I wouldn’t be mad at you. Just sayin’. xoxo

    1. Dangit! Airport bound at the moment or I definitely would have stocked up for you!! I did buy a last minute bag of li hing candided ginger for the plane. My neighbors are gonna luuuuuv me. 🙂

    1. Freezing temps + WINDSday winds — yikes! I can hardly stand the low 40s we get overnight in the Bay Area. (Moving back to California has, quite clearly, made me a bit of a sissypants.) Soup is definitely in your future, Kristin. Go get toasty!

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  7. This soup was fantastic! Shared with my coworkers who enjoyed this as well. Didn’t change a thing. Look forward to trying some of your other posted recipes!

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Blair – and so glad to hear the recipe worked out well for you! I hope you’ll be back for more. 🙂

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