Lentils are one of the most underrated food. Probably because too much of them (as with all legumes) can cause flatulence (funny, but very uncomfortable), arthritis or gout. What we fail to remember is that these beans are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. They are also good sources of Iron, Protein, Phosphorus, Copper, and an excellent source of dietary fiber, Folate and Manganese.
I grabbed a package of lentils and thought I'd follow the recipe written at the back, but decided to give it a little twist. Surprisingly, it tasted like Carabba's Spicy Sausage Lentil Soup. Only, theirs is spicier and the sausage that they use is different than what I used.
What you need:
- 1 package (14 oz) lentils, rinsed
- 1 (14 oz) Polska Kielbasa sausage, sliced into pieces
- 1/2 of a large Vidalia onion, chopped
- half a head of garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and shredded
- 6 cups beef broth
- 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
What to do:
Make sure you sort and rinse the lentils. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Stir in sausage, garlic and onion, saute until translucent. Add in all the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender and soup gets thick, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Add more broth if necessary. Serve hot!
Tips, Tricks and Tweaks:
1. Add one or two stalks of celery (chopped) if desired.
2. You can also add pasta in it (such as pastina) for more texture. However, use 8 cups instead of 6 cups of broth. Put in the pasta about 15 to 20 minutes before removing the soup from heat.
3. Serve with Romano cheese sprinkled on top of each bowl. Mmmmm... yummy!
4. Eat with chips, such as this: