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Author Notes: Who’s ready for some hearty soup? This is just what you need when there’s a chill in the air. Full of flavor with stick-to-the-ribs goodness. The inspiration for this deliciousness comes from Ina Garten. The recipe for her Lentil Sausage Soup is featured in her book, Barefoot in Paris. I’ve switched things up substantially over the years, but she still deserves the credit. My family is grateful to her for providing that inspiration!
Serve the soup topped with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. I like to add some roasted baby carrots and chopped fresh parsley. Another idea …add some sausage or bacon crumbles. It’s all good. —rosemary | a hint of rosemary
Makes 4 quarts
- 16 ounces mild Italian sausage, casings removed
- 16 ounces French green lentils
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 large yellow onions, diced (4 cups / 18 ounces)
- 3 leeks, chopped, white & light green parts only (4 cups / 13 ounces)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (1 tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 8 stalks celery, sliced (3 cups / 11 ounces)
- 6 carrots, sliced (4 cups / 18 ounces)
- 3 quarts homemade chicken stock or organic broth
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons dry red wine or red wine vinegar
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Remove sausage from casings. Break up sausage into small bits and brown until cooked through. Set aside.
- In a large heatproof bowl, generously cover the lentils with boiling water. Allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside with sausage.
- Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot or dutch oven of at least 7-quart capacity over medium heat. Saute the onions, leeks, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent and tender.
- Add the celery and carrots. Saute for another 10 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock, browned sausage, tomato paste, and drained lentils, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, or until the lentils are cooked through and tender.
- Add the red wine or vinegar. Check the seasonings. Serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan.