Lentil soup with andouille sausage

This excellent lentil soup is filling, delicious and so versatile – more sausage or none, add greens, top it with cheese, pesto or fresh herbs. Adapted from Cooking Light.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium or 1/2 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium stalks celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 to 1/2 pound andouille sausage, cut in half lengthwise and sliced (or substitute your favorite – see notes)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup dried green or brown lentils (red ones get mushy), rinsed and picked over
  • 3/4 cup brown rice, rinsed
  • Salt, to taste (try 1/2 to 1 teaspoon, depending on saltiness of tomatoes and broth)
  • Black pepper, to taste (try 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon)
  • Crushed red pepper, to taste

Optional ingredients

  • Parmesan rind (simmer with soup)
  • A few handfuls spinach leaves (add at end of cooking)
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar (add at end of cooking)
  • Pesto, for serving, a spoonful per bowl
  • Parmesan or romano cheese, for serving
  • Chopped parsley, cilantro, or basil, for serving

Preparation

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Add onion, celery, carrot and bay leaves. Cook a few minutes to soften.
  2. Add broth, canned tomatoes, water, lentils and brown rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low. Simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water if soup gets too thick. Add sausage and simmer until meat is heated through.
  3. Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper to taste (add a teaspoon of red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar if your tomatoes taste flat). Serve with grated parmesan or romano cheese, a dollop of pesto, or a sprinkling of fresh herbs.

Notes

  • If you are substituting an uncooked sausage, eg Italian sausage, remove meat from casing and cook it in the pot first, breaking the meat apart with a spoon or spatula. Add the chopped vegetables and proceed according to recipe.
  • Use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version.
  • Brown rice substitutions: white rice (add to soup 25 minutes after lentils) or barley. Or skip the grains and add potatoes or greens.

Here’s a link back to the post and pictures.