Lentil soup with sausage

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I have been making Rachael Ray’s Hungarian Hot Sausage and Lentil Soup for years, it completely revolutionized my idea of what lentil soup can be.  I grew up eating relatively plain lentil soup with ham, which I also love, but Rachael Ray’s lentil soup is full of “stuff.”  Not just sausage, but portobello mushrooms and kale.  It is the perfect thing to make early in the week and eat for a few days.

Lentil Soup with Sausage
Adapted from Rachael Ray

olive oil
2/3 lb. hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
kosher salt
black pepper
1 portobello mushroom, gills removed and sliced
3 small carrots, sliced
1 c of green lentils
2 small white potatoes, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
2 tsp smoked paprika (if you don’t have this, buy it!)
1 sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
14 oz can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes
6 c chicken broth
1 bunch of kale, stems removed, roughly chopped

Heat a little bit of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large dutch oven. Brown the sausage in the oil, breaking it up as it cooks. Add the onions and garlic, season with red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and cook until they are translucent.

Add the carrots, mushrooms, lentils, potatoes, bay leaf, paprika, and rosemary, and allow to cook for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and chicken broth. (I also added a few fresh cherry tomatoes because I wanted to use them up.) Cover the pot and bring to a boil.

Uncover the pot and allow to boil for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils, potatoes, and carrots are cooked. Add the kale, stirring it in as it wilts. It might look like a ridiculous amount of kale at first, but I promise it will fit once it wilts down. Allow to simmer for a few more minutes.

This soup has enough starch to be eaten on its own, or you can serve it with crusty, toasted, buttered bread.

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