Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sausage and Lentil Soup

I can say that I have ever cooked with lentils up until now. I've known they were healthy and good for you, the hippies back in the day said so. The first time I ever had them was in stew form as a side dish to some braised short ribs in Paris and absolutely fell in love with them. Quite tasty, but be warned as they can be a little gassy to those of you with problems with the legume family. Then again, if you have kids it could be a plus as nothing elicits giggles better than gas.

This soup is based on one that appeared in this months Bon Appetit, loosely based as the quantity it made was twice what this one does, plus I didn't have everything needed so I improvised, a lot. Also note that I used all dried spices and herbs with this soup which is a bit of a departure for me, but hey even So Cali has its months where herb gardens go dormant. So inspired by one and improvised based on own taste scores again here at casa fraz.

Sausage and Lentil Soup

  • 1 lb Italian sausage-cut to1/2 inch slices
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 c chopped celery, tops included
  • 1 1/2 cups lentils
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t basil
  • 1/2 t marjoram
  • 1/2 t thyme
  • 1 T fennel, crushed lightly
  • 2 T parsley
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 5 oz package fresh spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil
  • Parmesan cheese

In large stock pot add enough olive oil to just coat the bottom. Over medium high heat add sausage. Stir often until well browned and no pink spots remain. Add onion, pepper and celery, stirring often cook until onion is translucent - about 5-8 minutes.

Add spices, chicken broth and lentils. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer 30 minutes until lentils are tender. Stir in spinach and cook until just wilted. Serve hot with Parmesan grated over the top of the soup.

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