Lentils are an inexpensive but nutritious power food, and these days, a hot, filling and flavorful family meal at a great price is a real comfort. My husband just loves this soup and it freezes well. —Donna Scarano, East Hanover, New Jersey
- 8 cups water
- 1 package (16 ounces) dried lentils, rinsed
- 1 package (19-1/2 ounces) Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed and crumbled
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium beef broth
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1 medium red potato, diced
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1-1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper
- Salad croutons, optional
- In a large saucepan, bring water and lentils to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 18-22 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain.
- Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, cook the sausage, onions, celery and carrots over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender; drain. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes longer.
Stir in the broth, tomatoes, potato, thyme and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until potato is tender. Stir in lentils; heat through. Serve with croutons if desired.
Freeze option: Reserving croutons for later, freeze cooled soup in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little broth or water if necessary. Top each serving with croutons if desired. Yield: 10 servings (3-1/2 quarts).
Originally published as Chunky Sausage Lentil Soup in Healthy Cooking February/March 2012, p33
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