It’s soup season and there’s almost nothing I enjoy more than cooking up a big pot of homemade soup on a Sunday afternoon.
This week’s Sausage and Lentil Soup is one of my favorites. Although it’s hearty and quite filling, it isn’t packed with fat because I use low-fat chicken Italian sausage in place of the standard Italian sausage which is higher in fat.
This dish is packed with fiber from the lentils and is also loaded with vegetables including onions, carrots, celery and zucchini. You could double the vegetables for a more veggie-packed version.
The soup simmers on top of the stove for about an hour. If you have out-of-town guests over for the holidays, the soup would make a nice weekend lunch or supper. Serve with some garlic bread and a tossed salad.
SAUSAGE AND LENTIL SOUP
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound low-fat chicken Italian sausage, hot or sweet, casing removed
1 cup chopped onion, about ½ of a large onion
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into thin discs
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons minced garlic, about 2 large cloves garlic
1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 small zucchini, cut into ¼-inch cubes
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 cups dry lentils, rinsed
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble the sausage into the pan and cook until done, breaking it up as it cooks. Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook, stirring until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, Italian seasoning, ground red pepper flakes and season to taste with salt and pepper (about 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon of black pepper). Sauté for a minute or two, add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour, until lentils are tender. Ladle into bowls and garnish each serving with Parmesan cheese.
Makes 6-8 servings.