Today was rainy and cool and called for a simmering pot of soup. We started making this soup last winter, and it quickly became a favorite of Wayne and mine, and I'm surprised to see that I haven't shared it yet. If you like it a little less spicy, you can omit the red pepper flakes and use a less spicy sausage.
Sausage and Lentil Soup
Adapted from Heather Gingerich/Siloam Fellowship cookbook
1 pound Italian sausage, sliced and casing removed
1 T oil
2 carrots, diced
1 lg onion, chopped
2 cloves crushed garlic
3 stalks celery, diced
In a stock pot, brown the sausage, then remove from the pan. Add a little oil, about 1 T, to the pan. Add the carrot, celery, onion and garlic. Saute until tender. Add the sausage to the vegetables.
8 c chicken broth
2 large cans (28-oz) petit diced tomatoes
2 c dried lentils (rinsed and drained)
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
Simmer until lentils are tender, 30-45 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Remove 1/3 of the soup and puree it, then return it to the pot. Adjust seasonings to taste.