Monday, June 21, 2010

Yummy Lentil Soup Recipe

Nuggets of sausage give a little meatball action to this hearty, no-fuss soup chock-full of healthy escarole and lentils.

Lentil Soup with Italian Sausage and Escarole
1 2/3 cups lentils (11 ounces), rinsed well
5 cups water
3 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage links, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 pound escarole, chopped (4 cups packed)
1 to 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1. Chop up all of your vegetables

2. Simmer lentils, water, broth, bay leaf, and half of garlic in a 4-quart pot, uncovered, 12 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a wide heavy 5- to 6-quart pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown sausage, about 7 minutes. Transfer sausage with a slotted spoon to a bowl.

4. Reduce heat to medium and cook onion, carrots, celery, remaining garlic,
1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add sausage and lentils with cooking liquid and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are tender,
3 to 5 minutes.

5. Stir in escarole and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in vinegar to taste and season with salt and pepper. Discard bay leaf.

Top with croutons for some crunch! And I recommend adding some Maggi Seasoning, something I learned from my German Grandmother. I think you can find it in the hispanic section in the grocery store. Otherwise, if you want to order the Authentic German bottle, click on the picture.

My husband suggested that next time we make this, we should chop the sausage up smaller instead of cutting bite sized pieces, so the consistency would be more like chopped meat in chili. This is a good recipe to make for dinner on a Sunday because there is a good amount left over for lunch the next day!

I hope you enjoy!