Rainy Day Menu: Lentil Soup
We’ve gotten plenty of rain (and more) the last few days here in South Florida (complements of Tropical Storm Isaac). I can’t say I really mind though. Not because I’m a fan of the destruction a Tropical Storm or Hurricane brings, but I truly love the quality time I get to spend with my family and friends. Yesterday I made my favorite lentil soup and spent the afternoon playing Scrabble with CH, my baby sis and some of our closest friends.
(recipe adapted from food.com)
Ingredients: 1 large carrot, 2 stalks celery, 1 large onion, 2 garlic cloves,1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 lb Italian sausage, 8 cups chicken broth, 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, 2 cups dried lentils (make sure you rinse and strain them first!), 1 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional), 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed (optional, it’s hard to find and kinda pricy), 1 bay leaf
(PS: I’ve been making this soup organic lately, almost all the items can be found organic at Whole Foods or The Fresh Market. Oh, and the soup freezes great too! I separate it into single servings and freeze it for lunches for CH and I.)
Directions: Dice the first four ingredients and sauté them in a large pot with the oil. Sauté until tender. In a separate pan cook the Italian sausage, removed from the casing. Brown then drain off fat. In the pot will the veggies pour 8 cups of chicken broth. Add tomatoes, sausage and lentils. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer until the lentils are tender, 30-45 minutes. Remove 1/3 of the soup and puree with blender and then return it to the pot.( I just stick and immersion blender down into the soup and give it a few pulses) Cook for another 10-15 minutes allowing the soup to thicken. Remove bay leaf and enjoy!