Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sausage and Lentil Soup

  • Hearty soups are an absolute favorite for me in the wintertime. Throw in some crusty French bread and a warm fireplace to sit near and I am a very happy gal. This robust one-pot dinner packs in lentils, sausage and plenty of vegetables, including mushrooms, spinach, onions and garlic. I love beef broth and red wine in soup; they give the dish an amazing richness that compliments the meat wonderfully and allow the food to be oh-so-comforting. Adapted from a recipe from Whole Foods, this recipe is nutritious, filling, and delicious.  A loaf of crusty bread is the only accompaniment you need for a complete meal.

  • Yield: about 6 servings

  • Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 pound sweet and/or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms (such as white, cremini, shiitake, portobello and oyster), chopped
  • 1 cup (about 7 ounces) dried French or brown lentils, picked through and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes, with their juice
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 pound baby spinach, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent. Add sausage and cook, breaking into small chunks, until it begins to brown. Add mushrooms and continue to cook until mushrooms have released most of their liquid. Add lentils, beef broth, mushroom or chicken broth, tomatoes and their juice, wine and pepper flakes; cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30-45 minutes.

Add spinach and salt and pepper, stir well and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more; stir in thyme.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls and top with Parmesan. 

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