Tuesday, February 12, 2013

lentil and sausage soup




The weather recently in Northern Virginia has bestowed itself to beautiful late afternoon brisk walks.  There is nothing more invigorating than a walk in sunny, cool temperatures, bundled up with hat, scarf and gloves, only to shed them before returning home, knowing you got in a good heart-pumping walk.

When I walk back in to the house, there is nothing better than to have a wholesome and healthy dish waiting for me. Keeping with my promise in the mid-January post for my Pizza-fied Chicken, assuring to bring some of my favorite "good for you" recipes in between delectable sweets and savories, I'd like to introduce you to one of my favorite healthy, hearty soups.  Lentil and Sausage Soup is easy to prepare, totally delicious, and extremely satisfying...with a major dose of benefits from lentils!






Lentils, a cute little member of the legume family, are one of my favorite foods to add into soups, salads, or as a lovely bed for a piece of grilled chicken or salmon.  Besides these little gems being loaded with cholesterol-lowering fiber, they are high in protein and low in fat. Your heart will love you for the nutrients they provide...your digestive system will be thanking you daily, and to top it off - the soluble fiber in lentils also help stabilize blood sugar levels!  So who can argue with adding lentils to your diet?

The turkey kielbasa adds a wonderful spiciness and seasoning to this soup; however, if you want to keep it strictly vegetarian, you can easily omit the sausage, and add in a few of your favorite herbs or spices for a little kick of extra flavor.  I use half chicken and half vegetable broth, but you can keep it all vegetable broth, as well.






I've been creating this scrumptious soup for several years...and never tire of it.  I'm confident you will enjoy it too! If 8 - 10 servings are too many for you...freeze individual portions to take out for lunch or dinner on another day. This is exactly what I always do.  ...and by the way, you don't have to be eating healthy to love this soup!

Before I close, funny story for you herb connoisseurs who are wondering why I have mint leaves in my soup.  I like buying the little organic live herb plants in Wegmans when I need fresh herbs for cooking or garnish.  I reached in the group of parsley plants, for the prettiest one.  When I got it home, I put it up to my nose, and realized immediately it wasn't parsley! I didn't want it to go to waste, so it was used to garnish my soup anyway.  :)

Until next time...and some absolutely lovely Carrot and Apple Cinnamon Streusel Muffins...mangia!  xox

Carol






Lentil and Sausage Soup
Serves 8 - 10

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound of carrots, sliced
1 large onion, diced
4 large cloves garlic, minced
14 ounce package Jennie-O or Hillshire Farms Turkey Kielbasa, thinly sliced
2 1/2 cups brown lentils, picked over and rinsed or Trader Joe's Ready to Eat Steamed Lentils, 17.6 ounces, found in the refrigerated section, (which is what I use)
32 ounce box of low-sodium fat-free chicken broth
32 ounce box of low-sodium fat-free vegetable broth
2 - 14 1/2 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
salt and ground pepper to taste

Create the Lentil and Sausage Soup:

Heat the oil in a large saucepan (5 quart or larger) over medium heat.  Add the carrots, onion, and garlic.  Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 8 minutes.

Add the kielbasa, lentils, and broth; bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils* and carrots are tender, about 30 - 45 minutes.  *If using Trader Joe's Ready to Eat Lentils, add the lentils with the tomatoes in the following step.

Stir in the tomatoes, salt and ground pepper.  Simmer until heated through, about 10 minutes longer.  I personally like to let the soup simmer for a longer period, so all the flavors have time to meld together nicely, but this is not necessary.

Recipe adapted, with Carol's modifications, from Weight Watcher's Momentum Cookbook.

Carol's note:

The baguette slices in the photos are from a whole grain baguette loaf.  I diagonally sliced it, brushed it with a slight swish of extra virgin olive oil, set it on a baking sheet placed in the center of the oven with broiler turned on, lightly toasting each side.  Perfect accompaniment to the Lentil and Sausage Soup!




52 comments:

  1. Striking photos, Carol! (I adore the carrots!) This soup looks warm, and hearty, and filling- can't believe it's healthy!! :D

    Great save on the mint leaves too!

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    1. Thank you so much, Val! You just made my day! I thought I would tell my little herb mishap, just in case someone was saying...why the heck did she put mint in the soup?!? :)

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  2. Your first paragraph describes one of my most favorite things to do. A hearty and warm bowl of soup afterwards sounds like the perfect treat. Your recipe looks and sounds amazing! I love lentils and sausage together. Thanks for sharing:)

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    1. Welcome to a cup of mascarpone, Nancy! Thank you so much for stopping by, and thank you for your kind words!

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  3. I simply adore lentil soup or stew, there´s nothing quite like it in the winter. And this version, healthier than mine, even better! I will be making it soon Carol!

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    1. Hi Paula, how are you? You and me both on the lentils! Yes, this is very healthy...and I'm sure you'll enjoy it! Have a great week!!

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  4. What a comforting soup, Carol! I wish I had a huge bowl for dinner this evening, plus fresh bread to soak up every last drop :).

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    1. Thank you, Laura! I wish I could share a bowl with you!!

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  5. Lovely pictures of your soup! It looks fantastic and I love using lentils in soups! So hearty!

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Natalie! So happy you stopped by!!

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  6. This soup is stunning! I want a bowl right now!

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    1. Thanks so much, Ashley! I would love to give you one! :)

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  7. Nice, so great , you have mentioned lots of recipes items, thanks a lots

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  8. That is seriously one love soup!! I love that sausage on the top!

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    1. Thanks so much, Jocelyn! Happy Valentine's Day! xox

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  9. I am such a space cadet but I didn't realize you're my neighbor. Have we discussed this before? I'm in Bethesda! Anyway, I love the sound of this soup. I've been eating a lot of lentils lately and I love anything with sausage.

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    1. Seriously, Jen...I'm just as much of a space cadet! Yes, we are neighbors if you're in Bethesda. My daughter is in Arlington, and half of her friends are in Bethesda too! This soup is great, nothing fancy...but healthy, wholesome, and delicious! Have a great Valentine's Day tomorrow!!!

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  10. Without a doubt a must-make soup for watching sports on the weekend. Can't wait to try it.

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    1. Thanks, Mom! You and Dad will love it! Have a Happy Valentine's Day tomorrow! xox

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  11. Looks wonderful Carol...I feel like I can taste it through your beautiful pictures! (Which must mean I'm FINALLY getting over this cold!) I've made Ina Garten's version of Lentil and Sausage soup for quite awhile, and have always enjoyed it. This looks even easier and a bit healthier. One thing I love about her recipe though is a little splash of red wine vinegar at the end. It really does a little something for the lentils.

    Hope you're having a lovely Valentine's Day! :)

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    1. Hi Tracy! Happy Valentine's Day xox...and so happy to hear you're feeling better! I bet Ina's recipe is great as well...can't go wrong with anything she makes! I'm planning on posting a great recipe of hers soon. Thanks so much for stopping by!!!

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  12. Valuable information ..I am delighted to read this article about lentil and sausage soup ..thank you for giving us this useful information. Great walk-through. I value this post.

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    1. Thank you so much!! I'm so happy you enjoyed the lentil information. They are such healthy little gems! :)

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  13. I love the story about the mint! I'm with you, I use it as a garnish for savory dishes too. This soup looks perfect - so healthy and delicious - and it is so pretty!

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    1. Hi Faith! So happy to see you stop by, and thank you for your kind words! I'm glad to hear that you use mint as a garnish too...the professional that you are, I don't feel so stupid now! :) Happy Valentine's Day! xox

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  14. Oh my this soup needs to go on our next dinner menu!!!

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  15. Lentil soup is a staple in my household and I haven't made it much with meat, but I love the idea of doing so since we are big meat eaters to. Kielbasa is one of my favorites and your soup looks like it turned out so flavorful and comforting! I'd love to have a never ending bowl of it with nice toasty crusty bread and butter!

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    1. Good morning, Julia! Thanks so much for stopping by, and taking the time to leave your kind comment!!! So appreciated!

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  16. Such a comforting soup Carol! My son is a big lentil eater so this one is a recipe I can cook for him and for the rest of us too! I would love to have a bowl of this soup now! Thanks for sharing! And picking the wrong herbs has happened to me too.

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    1. Hi Rowena! How nice that your son likes lentils...and yes, this is a great soup for the entire family! Thank you for your kind comment, Rowena...and also for telling me that you've picked the wrong herbs too! :) Wishing you a beautiful weekend!

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  17. We love lentils and sausage especially in our house :) Nice to see that you paired them in this delicious looking soup!

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    1. Hi Lisa! It's a great combination, isn't it? :) Thanks so very much for stopping by! Hope you're having a great weekend!!!

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  18. Oh, Carol, this looks spectacular. I haven't sold the hubby on lentils yet, but I'll either make a batch for myself or wait till he goes out of town and eat it night after night! LOVE this!

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    1. Good morning, Liz! Thanks so much for stopping by, and for your kind comment! Yes, make it for youself...and save a bowl for your husband...who knows? :) Enjoy today!

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  19. we've been out a lot lately as well. It's been a nice winter, can't complain much. And yes, after spending some time outside a warm bowl of hearty soup is exactly what we all need.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Roxana! So happy you and that adorable daughter of yours are enjoying the weather too! Have a great week!!!

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  20. This soup was AMAZING. Super easy, and the whole family loved it (: Id like to try it in the crock pot next time.

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    1. I'm so happy you and your family enjoyed it, Jennifer!!! Thank you so much for stopping by to let me know!! I'm sure it would work just fine in a crock pot too!!

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  21. Made this for dinner tonight. Delicious! I used diced tomatoes with green chilies to spice it up even more for my husband. We both love your recipe and can't wait to cook it for our friends.

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    1. Hi! Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and tell me how you and your husband enjoyed the soup! I love your idea of using the diced tomatoes with green chilies...I'm going to try that next time! You made my evening with your sweet message...thank you!!!

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  22. Cleaning out the fridge and freezer today and was on pinterest looking for some recipes to make for meals this week. This soup jumped off the page....beautiful photos!!! This will definitely be made tonight! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi Teresa! My pleasure to share! I'm so glad you found it, and excited that you're going to be making it tonight! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Enjoy your weekend...and thanks so much for becoming a follower! Very much appreciated!!!

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  23. Carol - I can certainly see why you have been making this soup for years - it is a true winner! I need to add this to my list of delicious soups to make. Hope you have a great week!!!

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    1. Hi Lisa! Thanks so much for stopping by! Yes, it's a wonderful, long time favorite! I'm thinking of making a pot today with the cool, drizzling rain we're having! You have a great week, as well!!

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  24. This was an excellent dish. Of course I added too many lentils and had to add more broth and then added more garlic. My boyfriend and I loved it! We ate it along with hummus, tabbouleh, and pita bread. As long as you don't eat too much it is very satisfying without being too heavy! I for one overate because it was SO good!

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    1. Megan, Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and write your enjoyable comment! I'm so happy you loved it! Like you, I always put more lentils than necessary and my half pot becomes a full pot of soup. :) That's also the beauty of this recipe, you can add and subtract to your liking!!! Thanks again!!

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  25. Funny that you posted this on my son's birthday, this has become one of his favorite recipes.
    Actually, my whole family of 7 enjoys this and that is a rare thing. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks so much for dropping by and leaving your lovely comment! I'm so happy your whole family enjoys it! It's so delicious, not to mention incredibly healthy as well! Happy upcoming birthday to your son!!!

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  26. I just made this and it is amazing! Total winner! I used fresh venison kielbasa and added some smoked paprika and red cayenne for a little extra kick. SO. GOOD.

    Vanessa

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    1. So happy you enjoyed it, Vanessa! Love the additions you made! Thanks so much for stopping by to let me know!!!

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Hi! Thank you so much for stopping by a cup of mascarpone, and taking the time to leave a comment! I read, smile, and cherish each and every one of them! xox

Carol