Here’s a yummy stick to your ribs kinda soup recipe for this cold stormy spring day. Last time I posted it…was for a blizzard; today a Nor’easter. Make a big pot so you have leftovers for tomorrow…starting mine as soon as I finish posting this. Lentils are good for you and hearty in stew for chilly days. I took a basic Italian lentil soup and kicked it up a bit with some changes and additions. My daughter and I love the Italian sausage in it and I especially enjoy adding shredded kale to the mix. Kale is still very trendy these days but I have been using it for years; this is one of my favorite recipes to make with kale. It increases the nutritional value and the flavor of a soup. I also like how easily it goes together. If you hate kale leave it out; spinach is really tasty too in it. I prefer fresh kale, don’t forget to cut off the tough stems. In this batch I used a mixture of sweet Italian sausage and hot spicy sausage. Lots of extra flavor that way!
This stew could be made vegetarian; use vegetable broth and leave out the sausage. I don’t always have the parm cheese on it but it is very tasty with it.
Lentil, Kale and Sausage Soup
¼ cup EVOL
1 cup diced yellow onion
2 large carrots, diced
1 garlic clove if desired; minced
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp. tomato paste dissolved in ½ cup water
2 cups dried brown lentils, washed after measuring
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1-2 quarts chicken broth, If you don’t have that much broth just use water for part of it.
1 lb Italian sausage (sometimes I use a mix package of mild and spicy links)
1 lb fresh or frozen kale. Fresh is best; chop it up but frozen will do
½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, optional (for topping)
2 tbsp chopped parsley; can leave out if adding kale.
Sauté the onion and carrots in the olive oil in a big heavy bottomed soup pot. I use a heavy bottom as your soup will be less likely to burn. Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sausage; push the onions to the pan’s walls so they don’t burn. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Add garlic and tomatoes and stir up well, add the tomato paste in water and cook 10 minutes. Add broth and season with salt and pepper; remove sausage to a plate to cool. Bring the soup back to a boil and then add lentils. Cook about 25 minutes, add the potatoes and cook 20 to 30 minutes until lentils are done to your taste, add the potatoes 20 minutes into the cooking time. Stir pot occasionally so it doesn’t stick. Add the kale and cook 5-7 minutes. While the lentils are cooking you should cut up the sausage into rounds and add back to the lentil stew when they are done. Let the soup stand at least 15-20 minutes once it is done. Serve in a wide soup bowl with a good sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese on top. Perfect on a cold winter night to warm you up from your tummy to your toes!
Originally posted February 2016.