1 pound sausage (I used less than a pound of a spicy chicken chorizo chopped)
1 onion chopped
1 stalk celery chopped (I used 2 small ones)
2 leeks chopped (I used leeks in place of the onion)
2 carrots chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper
oil to saute the veggies
1 can diced tomatoes undrained
6 cups of broth
2 cups dry lentils (green or French lentils, whatever type you like)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon oregano (I used Turkish, because I just picked some up and wanted to try it)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or chopped chillies or hot pepper sauce (adjust to your taste)
All the seasoning is adjustable I pretty much just "eyeball" it when I add them, and you can add some later after it cooks for a while, taste it and see if you need to add more.
In a large heavy saucepan or dutch oven, I used my Le Creuset French oven that I won from Bo's Bowl saute the carrots, celery, leeks, onions (if using them) in a little oil with the salt and pepper for a few minutes. Then add the garlic, sausage and tomato paste...keep stirring. If you are using bulk Italian sausage you can brown this first and set aside until ready to add to the soup, or add it to the vegetables.
Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, then turn heat down to a simmer. Cover and cook for about an hour or so until the lentils are done., and everything is tender. Don't forget to remove the bay leaves before serving, otherwise you'll always get that person...the same one, who seems to always get the dried chili or cherry or olive pit that was left in!
Kale! You know I like to sneak greens in when I can....so while the soup was cooking... I washed some kale and removed the hard ribs...tore it in pieces and then added it to the pot!
None the wiser....it was gobbled up! Okay, maybe their bowls were liked clean, but I was able to get some good leftovers tucked away into the freezer ready to pull out for another great meal.
I added some Italian parsley too...look how big the parsley was!
Top with some fresh grated Parmesan cheese or I think I had some Asiago...
...don't forget the crusty bread so they can get every drop! We do like to eat soup year round here even when it reaches 90 degrees like it did today, but then it rained and cooled it off some. No sunset walk tonight!
EDITED TO ADD: So we decided to go to the beach anyway just to take a walk. Wade needed a break from working on Eric's Ski trying to get it ready for the World Jet Ski Finals in Lake Havasu, AZ in October. We went to the beach and I can't believe that I didn't bring my camera. It was the most beautiful sunset with the clouds being outlined in a bright light, in such an unusual form! All colors of pink, blue sky and purple, orange, beautiful clouds. When we got there every one was looking the other way at the most vivid rainbow I have ever seen, a full rainbow so high in the sky there was no way I would of been able to get a good shot of that! Isn't that the way it goes when you don't bring your camera?
This recipe has been shared with:
and linked to Souper (soup, salad, & sammie) Sundays at Deb's blog Kahakai Kitchen at http://kahakaikitchen.blogspot.com/
This post was shared with Hearth and Soul over at Pemeditated Leftovers.