Hearty Lentil and Sausage Soup

Serves 6

This robust one-pot dinner packs in lentils, sausage and plenty of vegetables, including mushrooms, spinach, onions and garlic. A loaf of crusty bread is the only accompaniment you need for a complete meal.

Ingredients: 
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms (such as white, cremini, shiitake, portobello and oyster), chopped
  • 1 cup (about 7 ounces) dried French or brown lentils, picked through and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 2 1/2 cups mushroom or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes, with their juice
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 pound baby spinach, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 6 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
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Method: 

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent. Add sausage and cook, breaking into small chunks, until it begins to brown. Add mushrooms and continue to cook until mushrooms have released most of their liquid. Add lentils, beef broth, mushroom or chicken broth, tomatoes and their juice, wine and pepper flakes; cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.

Add spinach and salt and pepper, stir well and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes more; stir in thyme. Ladle soup into bowls and top with Parmesan.

Nutritional Info: 
Per Serving:380 calories (160 from fat), 18g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 30mg cholesterol, 1190mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (10g dietary fiber, 5g sugar), 18g protein

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