Jackson Reverdy Orrell & Lentil Soup #1

Every family has traditions. Most families have special meals that have been handed down for generations.
In the Malle – Orrell family, one of our special meals is lentil soup. This actually started in the Malle family, probably before 1900.
My Mother’s Mother (Catherine Louise Simmont) made a very simple soup. Her lentil soup is very easy to prepare and has long been a favorite with some of the Malle family. My Mom introduced it to the Orrell family back in 1948 when her and my Dad got married.
The recipe is very simple:
Take a pot of water, add several chopped onions, add three bags of lentils, and add about three pounds of hot dogs. That’s it. You could also add small cut potatoes or carrots, but we don’t do that. Just put it on the stove, turn the heat up high and stir often. It will be done in under an hour.
Over the years, I’ve sometimes changed the recipe up a bit – now, more than not – using Polish hotdogs instead of regular hotdogs. I generally get the longer hotdogs and buy everything in a 3 pound package for about $5.00. I’ve even used the ‘hot & spicy’ hotdogs from time to time.
After the soup has cooked, I used to thicken it up a bit, frying up some Criso with flour. I’d just pour it into the big pot when the sauce thickened; however, I’ve gotten away from doing that several years ago.
One of the little secrets we do is to add dark cider vinegar to the individual containers before freezing. If out of dark cider vinegar, I’ve also used white vinegar and have even used some other types of vinegars. The vinegar gives it a little ‘kick’, although most people don’t like it like that. You can either freeze the portions, thaw out and heat up, or as I prefer, just eat cold.
The above recipe makes about 15 large bowls of soup.
Eating your first bowel of lentil soup is a rite of passage in our family. I took up my large soup pot and made a huge batch for Reb yesterday. Naturally, it was time for Jackson to go through his initiation.
He gobbled up the soup. (We didn’t add any vinegar to it this time.)
Yep, he’s a true member of the Orrell family as you can see from the photo below:

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