“Those are the ingredients for Chinese food? I thought I would be cooking and eating something I had never seen before!” When Laura arrived and saw the common ingredients on the kitchen counter, she was surprised.
“Yes, what we are going to make today is really easy and delicious!” I was about to teach my first cooking class but also a little surprised by Laura’s first impression on Chinese food. I guess Chinese people do have a reputation of eating all sorts of weird stuff. 😛
About the cooking class, it all starts from a food blog and a MeetUp group called SF-International People-Authentic Cuisine where the organizer provides space and kitchenwares and someone in the group volunteers to be the chef (in this case, it’s me), then proposes the cuisine.
Doesn’t really sound like a traditional cooking class that everyone gets a stove, a set of pots and knives, plus an apron with me being at the front teaching, right? It’s unconventional, casual and fun!
After a discussion with the organizer Maryna about my proposal, she posted on the event board. Next thing I heard was that we had got a full house – 7 people! Since the plan is to keep teaching, cooking and eating all in 2.5 hours, we decided on two dishes –
Two dishes that can totally feed a crowd by simply increasing the volume. Easy!
Grocery shopping was handled by Instacart the day before the cooking class – couldn’t be easier!
As soon as Maryna received the groceries, she kindly helped to cook enough rice and left it in her fridge over night. At this point, we were all set!
My goal for the cooking class was to demonstrate how easy and fast to cook yummy Chinese dishes at home and to have everyone try cooking by themselves.
I divided all attendees into 3 groups as well as the ingredients. Each group got one set of ingredients. The demonstration started from chopping vegetables, to beating eggs, to making sauces, and to cooking. Students followed my instructions to do the same. Believe it or not, even with 3 rounds of cooking, a delicious meal was ready in less than 1.5 hours. We spent the rest of the time talking about Chinese culture while enjoying the food. Easy, healthy, tasty and fast. My goal was achieved! See photos here.
Would I teach again? Hell yeah! 😀
You know what? Slow cooking won’t work for this type of cooking class in terms of time. But I am always happy to share my tested recipes with you here, which brings me to today’s Sausage Lentil Soup recipe – a hearty slow cooked soup with loads of vegetables, sausages and lentils!
It starts with browning the sausages without the skins. Breaking sausages into small pieces allows the flavor to spread out into the entire soup. Chopping veggies and putting all other ingredients in your crock pot are literally what you need to do for preparation. What’s next? You sit back and do your thing until your house smells so good and your mouth starts watering.
How does it taste?
A little spicy.
A little sweet.
Perfect with rice or bread.
Full of goodies.
You guys are going to love this soup so much! Without further ado, let’s dive into the recipe now! Happy cooking!
- 16 oz Hot Italian Sausage
- 1 cup carrot, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1/2 green pepper, diced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cups sweet potato/yam, diced
- 2 cups frozen vegetable mix
- 1 cup lentil, rinsed
- 2 beef bouillon cubes
- 2 cup shredded kale, firmly packed
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 5 cups hot water
- sour cream for topping (optional)
- Remove sausage skin. In a large skillet, brown sausage over high heat. Use your spatula to break the meat in small pieces. Stir for about 2-3 minutes.
- Place prepared vegetables in crock pot.
- In a large bowl, dissolve beef bouillon cubes in hot water. Add basil, chopped cilantro and lentil.
- Pour lentil mixture over the vegetables and place sausage on top. Don't stir.
- Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 10-12 hours.
- Serve with sour cream.
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