With cooler weather, we look for something warm and comforting to draw everyone to the dinner table. This soup fits the bill, and it comes together easily, with ingredients you may already have on hand. Feel free to substitute another variety of canned beans in place of the lentils.
Note: Most Italian sausage comes in links. If you want larger chunks of sausage in the soup, cook the links, intact, and then slice them before returning to pot. And if you prefer a meatier soup, then by all means, use up to 1 pound of sausage.
- 1/2 pound Italian sausage (sweet or hot)*
- 2 cups diced vegetables (equal parts onion, celery, and carrots)
- 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 pound dry lentils OR 2 cans of beans—kidney, cannellini, red, or black (If using canned beans, rinse and drain before adding to soup)
- Broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
- 1 tsp dried sage
- Kosher salt & pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- If sausage is in links, slice through the casings and remove.
- Crumble sausage and brown it (medium to med-low heat) in a large soup pot.
- Once browned, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Leave fat rendered from sausage in the pot and return to med-low heat.
- Add the onions, celery, and carrots, and stir as they begin cooking.
- After about a minute, put the lid on the pot and allow vegetables to sweat about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally, scraping up any bits of meat from the bottom of the pan. The sweating process will help loosen the stuck-on bits. You can also add a bit of the broth at this point if you need more liquid to do the job.
- After vegetables have cooked about 5 minutes, add the tomatoes, lentils or canned beans, and the cooked sausage.
- Pour in enough broth to cover all ingredients by about an inch or so. If you need to add water to bring up the level of liquid that’s fine.
- Add the sage, stir gently, cover and cook on med-low until soup comes up to a simmer.
- Then reduce heat to low, TASTE, and add salt and pepper as desired.
- Allow to simmer about an hour. The lentils should cook through and even begin to break down a bit.
- Garnish with parsley and serve with crusty bread or corn bread.