Mary’s Version of Ina’s Lentil Sausage Soup

A delicious bowl of comfort. Mary made this for some meals for my mom who’s recovering from a bad fall. It made me feel way better too!

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Makes 4 quarts; Serves 8 to 10

1 lb. French green lentils such as du Puy
1/4 c. olive oil, plus extra for serving
4 c. diced yellow onions (3 large)
3 c. chopped leeks (2 to 3 good sized)
red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
1 T. minced garlic (2 large cloves)
1 T. kosher salt
1 1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 T. minced fresh thyme leaves
1 t. ground cumin
3 c. medium-diced celery (6 -8 stalks)
3 c. medium-diced carrots (4 -5 carrots)
3 qts. chicken broth
1  six ounce can of tomato paste
1/2 lb to 1 lb. mild Italian sausage, browned and broken up
2 T. dry red wine or red wine vinegar

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 30 minutes.  Drain.

In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onions, leeks, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent and tender.  Add the celery and carrots and saute for another 10 minutes.  Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, sausage and drained lentils, cover and bring to a gentle boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour or until the lentils are cooked through and tender.  Check for the seasonings.  Serve with drizzled olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.


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