CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Lentil Soup With Italian Sausage

Anyone who is familiar with farming and has hunted in northwestern North Dakota knows about lentils. Williams and Divide counties are among the top producers of the legumes in the country.

I’ve been chasing pheasants in the area for years but yet have never done much cooking with lentils, which are among the most versatile and nutritious foods available. (Lentils are a powerhouse of nutrition. They are a good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K but are particularly rich in dietary fiber, lean protein, folate and iron.)

But that’s gonna change.

Just recently, I made some Lentil and Italian Sausage Soup, following a recipe that was nestled among hundreds of others that have found their way into my collection over the years, one of several that appealed to me for one reason or another. I think this particular recipe piqued my interest because it contained carrots, cabbage and tomatoes, three of my favorite vegetables.

The soup was so yummy that I’m contemplating another hunting trip through my folder of recipes.

Lentil Soup with Italian Sausage
12 ounces (3 links) sweet Italian sausage links
1 cup diced onions
1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup fennel bulb, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 cups uncooked brown or green lentils
3 quarts chicken stock
3 cups cabbage, chopped
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the sausage links in a roasting pan, prick the skins with a fork, and transfer to the oven. Roast the sausage until brown, about 20 minutes. Remove and let cool, reserving the fat from the pan. Cut the links in half lengthwise and then into 1/4-inch slices; set aside.
Transfer 1 tablespoon of the sausage fat to a large saucepan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery and fennel. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the lentils, chicken stock, bay leaf and spices. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in cabbage and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes longer.
Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and add tomatoes and reserved sausage. If the soup seems too thick, add a little water or stock to thin it to the desired consistency. Serve.

2 thoughts on “CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Lentil Soup With Italian Sausage”

  • Helen Murphy January 26, 2017 at 11:20 am

    This sounds yummy. I have a bag of lentils sitting in my cupboard so I will have to give it a try. You do not list garlic in the ingredient list but do in the directions. Did you add it? Might have to change the meat choice since we are watching sodium closely or use the ground version and use less and add some Italian seasoning.

    1. Jeff Tiedeman January 26, 2017 at 11:24 am

      My oversight, Helen. Thanks for the head’s up.


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