It’s soup season. I can somehow “swallow” that a bit easier than admitting it’s the season that starts with a “w.” Besides, officially, it’s still fall. But the white stuff on the ground makes that point irrelevant. Why must we be over-achievers in Minnesota?
I like soup a lot. It’s on my list of what’s good about the “w” season. A few years ago I posted this list in my office to help me maintain a better attitude. I think it worked. There were actually a few dozen things on that list. Maybe I should dig it up again.
With the chill in the air and the roads icy on the way to church, I knew it was time to bring out some real ammunition. So, we found a new soup recipe to help beat the chill and the tendency to complain.
It was quite yummy. On one of those upcoming cold, blustery days I recommend “Italian Lentil & Sausage Soup” to warm you up.
Italian Lentil & Sausage Soup
- 1 cup lentils
- 1/3 cup pearl barley
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 cup onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 1/2 cups broth
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 14 1/4 ounces Italian-style tomatoes (crushed or diced)
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (optional)
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage (crumble and cook over medium) Remove this ingredient for a great vegetarian option.
1. Sort lentils to remove debris and shriveled beans. Rinse good beans.
2. Add lentils to crock pot, along with barley, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, dried herbs and bay leaf.
3. Pour in broth, water and tomatoes.
4. Cover and cook on low heat for 12 to 14 hours or on high heat for 5 to 6 hours.
5. Discard bay leaf and just before serving stir in parsley and vinegar. (The vinegar is a key ingredient.)
6. As soup begins to cook add in cooked sausage.
7. A lengthy cooking time is needed unless you like fairly al dente veggies and beans.
8. Serve with salad and crusty bread.