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Easy Lentil and Italian Sausage Soup

It seems that I am on a lentil kick these days.  Last night we didn’t have much food in our house and I was on the phone with my sister.  I told her I had an onion, frozen home-made chicken stock and half a bag of spinach.  I looked in the freezer and I had two frozen Italian Sausages and some frozen chicken.  She voted for the Italian Sausage and asked if I had any lentils in the pantry.  Voila!  Our soup was born…

I like slicing the sausage while it is frozen.  It is easy to slice if your knife is sharp and much less messy.   It will cook in the soup rather fast.  You can make this soup in a vegetarian version and leave out the sausage.  Or if you don’t have sausage, use some bacon or smoked ham.  If you are using bacon or ham, I would saute it with the onions and peppers to ensure that the bacon cooks and the flavors get incorporated into the soup.

2 Tablespoons oil (olive oil, grape seed oil, canola oil, etc…)
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 red, yellow or green pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
3 cups stock (chicken, beef or vegetable)
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 cup dried lentils (any color)
2 frozen Italian sausages, sliced into 1/2 ” slices
2 cups spinach leaves (uncooked)
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese, optional (leave out for a gfcf version)

Heat a heavy pan or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the oil, onions and peppers.  Saute for 3-4 minutes until softened.  Add the garlic and saute 1 more minute.

Pour the stock into the pan.    Add the lentils, tomatoes (with juice from can) and thyme.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

Add the frozen sausage and cover with a lid.  Allow to simmer for 30-45 minutes.  Add the spinach before serving.  It will cook down in a minute or two.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  If you would like, you can add some parmesan cheese into the soup.  If you add cheese, you might want to add the cheese and then adjust the salt, since the cheese may be salty.

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2 Responses to “Easy Lentil and Italian Sausage Soup”

  1. Susan M says:

    I made this last week. First off, I tricked my husband into eating it by telling him it was “Italian sausage and bean chili” because he thinks soups don’t make good dinners! (ha ha!) We loved it! I didn’t have any peppers, I used a whole package of sausage instead of only two, and I did add a can of white cannelloni beans and tomato paste to keep with the “chili” look (yay fiber!). I used frozen chopped spinach instead of fresh and it was fantastic. I thawed the spinach in the microwave for a few minutes and did not drain it before adding it. Once all the flavors melded together, it was very tasty! Thanks for the recipe, Jen! Hubby said, “this one’s a keeper!”

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