Happy Thursday Seekers! It's time to get out your spoons, for real yo! Go visit my sissy and link up for her SaS at the tank! This week's theme, this is my theme, (and I'm taking it back, I'm taking them all back. . . . sorry. . . . I was having a "Goonie" moment)! Where was I? Oh yeah, this is my theme and it's my favorite theme so far. Hmmm, I do love me some sweet treats, (wishing I was eating a tasty Rice Krispies Treat right about now)! So this week's theme is tied for my favorite theme! I love soup, stews, bowls of yummy goodness. We don't even wait until fall around my house. We make soup all year round! Especially when someone's feeling under the weather. . . . I mean really? Is anything as comforting as a warm bowl of homemade soup?
My husband's favorite place to go out to eat is Carrabba's Italian Grill. We both love their Spicy Sausage and Lentil Soup. We used to live about 2 minutes away from our restaurant and would stop in just for the soup. That's where the idea for this soup came. I figured I could make it at home and we could have it when ever we wanted. I would love to give credit where credit is due, but I've been making this for SO LONG, I honestly couldn't tell you where I found the recipe. But it was somewhere online. I have, however, "tweaked" it to suit my (family's) tastes.
I didn't make my soup this time, because we just had it, right before my soup theme was picked. Sorry! But I've been waiting to share this recipe and didn't want the lack of pictures to prevent that! So bare with me and my borrowed pictures.
(picture courtesy of Google pictures)
Spicy Sausage and Lentil Soup
3 spicy sausage links
(I take 3 out of the package)
1 1/2 cups of dried lentils
(I never measure, I just pour some in a bowl)
2 carrots finely diced
3 stalks of celery finely diced
1 medium onion finely diced
1-2 cloves of garlic
2 14.5 cans petite diced tomatoes
(I like the ones that come "in sauce" by Hunts)
2 32 oz cartons of chicken stock
1 teaspoon of salt
3/4 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
***I don't really measure the spices, but that's what I have written down. I pour some in the palm of my hand and then dump them into the pot. I know I tend to add more fennel seeds and red pepper to mine.
First pour the lentils into a bowl and cover with hot water. (This step isn't necessary, but it reduces the cooking time). Next saute the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in olive oil until tender. I like to add all of the dry spices while sauteing the vegetables. Remove from pot.
Remove sausage from casings and brown in the same pot used to saute the vegetables. (Drain the lentils, they will have plumped by now). Once the sausage is browned, add tender vegetables, spices, tomatoes, chicken stock and lentils to the pot. (You can substitute water for the chicken stock). Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, about 30-40 minutes, or until lentils are tender. If you want the soup to be a bit thicker, remove about a 1/3, puree, and return it to the pot. I have one of those nifty hand held immersion blenders. They work perfect for this job!
We top ours with Italian cheese, either Parmesan, Romano, or Asiago. Depends on what I have in the house. And I always serve it with some good ol' crusty bread! Yumminess in a bowl!
Now, head on over to our Friends You Love site and check out all of the AMAZING things we have going on! I have the pleasure of working with some truly wonderful women who have been working endlessly to make this month a fun filled celebration of friendship! Go, be our friend, check it out!