Fall is here and so is the rain! When the weather turns dreary outside, I crave soup. The warm savory broth is comforting!
I saw a recipe for “Homemade Sausage Lentil Soup” in the latest issue of Rachael Ray Mag (Oct. 2012). But her recipe used 3 different pans and called for making sausage from scratch. Not a hard thing to do, but who has time for that? So, I altered the recipe. I used Italian Sausage instead of making it from scratch, skipped out on zipping the veggies in the food processor (I like them chunky), adjusted the liquids and seasonings to fit my tastes, etc. And you know what? This soup is pretty good!
It reminds me of college. I went to Washington State University in Pullman, WA. Every year, the weekend before school starts, the city has a Lentil Festival. And every year, they have a recipe contest using Lentils. Every recipe submitted is cooked up by volunteers and judged a few weeks before the Fest, then the top 6 or so recipes are prepared and served at Lentil Fest. Participants vote on their favorite recipe, and the winners are announced later that night. Recipes come from all across the US. And it’s amazing what people can dream up. In addition to the cooking contest, the city prepares a HUGE pot of Lentil Chili. YUM!
This soup is packed with protein and veggies. Welcome to Fall!
Sausage Lentil Soup
For the Lentils:
- 1 cup lentils
- 1/4 onion (just leave it in a big chunk)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the soup:
- 1 lb Italian Sausage
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 large carrot, sliced thin
- 2-3 ribs celery, sliced thin
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 cups beef stock (I used Swanson)
- 3 cups water
- 1-2 Yukon Gold Potatoes, cut into quarters and sliced 1/4″ thick
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Grated parmesan cheese and parsley for garnish
- Rinse lentils well. Drain and place in a medium pot with salt, bay leaves, and the onion chunk. Add enough water to cover the lentils by 2-3 inches. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook 20 minutes or until lentils are soft. Pick out onion and bay leaves, and drain before adding to soup.
- While lentils are cooking, prepare the rest of the soup! In a large soup pot, break up the Italian sausage and brown over medium-high heat. Be sure to get it good and brown and break it up into bite-size pieces. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Leave about 2 TBSP oil in the pot to cook the veggies.
- Add the carrots and cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add onions, celery, and garlic. Continue to cook until veggies are softened, about 5 minutes.
- Pour in about 1 cup stock, and scrape the bottom of the pot to get up the browned bits. Add the rest of the stock, the water, and the potatoes. Bring to a low boil and cook about 12 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.
- Add the lentils and sausage. Heat another 5 to 7 minutes to make sure everything is heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Spoon into bowls and garnish with Parmesan and parsley.