Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lentil and Sausage Soup

It is almost March, which means spring is arriving (or has already) in many places.  In northeast Wisconsin we have had what passes as a very mild winter for this part of the country.  Nonetheless, outside the window I see a blanket of white snow, and more is in the forecast.  It is not time for me to put away the scarves and mittens.  March is very unpredictable here.

How about where you are? 

Mindful of the chill and the snow, I'm sharing a hearty comfort food.  This is simmering on the stove right now, and the house smells wonderful!

1 lb. or about 2 cups lentils
1 tbsp. olive (or other) oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1/4 c. wine vinegar, or juice of one lemon
8 cups beef or chicken broth (or use part water if you need to)
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cumin
1 large (28 oz.) can stewed tomatoes or diced tomatoes
1/2 lb. or about 2 cups, Italian sausage, cooked and chopped

What to Do
Brown sausage and onion in oil.  Drain  and set aside. 
In dutch oven or large soup pot, combine washed lentils with half the broth, celery and carrots.  Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes.  Add spices and remaining broth. Bring to a boil again and then simmer about 15 more minutes. (Some people like to puree the soup at this point.  I leave it as is.  Up to you.)  Add tomatoes, vinegar or lemon juice, and the onions and sausage; cover and cook 15 minutes more. Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon slices if desired.  Serves 8.

Also try this with a bit more broth (or tomato juice) and a package of frozen spinach, thawed and added when you add the sausage/onion mix.  You can also use about a pound of fresh spinach.  Garnish with parmesan cheese instead of the parsley.


  1. This is probably fabulous. My husband made up a big batch of lentil soup with porketta sausage and herbs, lots of veggies, esp carrots, since we're still using carrots from our garden, in January. It was one of the best soups I've ever had. He looks at recipes, I usually just put in onion,carrots, garlic, beans, and whatever else is on hand. The herbs added an extra dimension to his soup.

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