Lentil & Sausage Soup
A quick note on my Tamale DVD.  If you ordered one they will be mailed out this week.
This is a great Main Dish Soup.  It’s thick and delicious and very “rich” tasting so you won’t need to eat tons for total satisfaction.  I like to add a nice crisp salad of romaine greens, sliced onions and tomatoes and a light oil and vinegar dressing.  The fat content is high but you can use Turkey sausage or a lower fat type sausage.  Don’t think you can’t lighten this up.  It’s not like you are going to eat this everyday.  It’s well worth trying.  
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons butter (to be used to cook the veges)
1 pound Italian sausage links
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup finely diced carrot
1/4 cup finely diced leeks
1/4 cup finely diced celery
1 1/2 cup uncooked lentils (green or brown)
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 cup finely sliced fresh spinach (divided)
salt and pepper to taste
grated Parmesan cheese to taste (this means 1 teaspoon per serving)
In a heavy bottomed 2 to 3 quart saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil and add the sausage links and brown evenly on all sides.  Cook for 5 minutes or until the sausages are cooked through.  Remove from the pan and allow to cool.  Set aside.
Add the onion, carrot, leeks and celery to the butter you have set aside.  Cook over medium high heat until the vegetables are tender.  Add the lentils and chicken  broth.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent the lentils from sticking.  when the broth comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the lentils are tender about 40 to 45 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, cut the sausages into 1/4 inch slices and set aside.
When the lentils are tender, add the sausage, mustard, vinegar and three quarters of the sliced spinach.  Stir to mix well.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Return soup to a boil, reduce heat and simmer an additional 5 minutes.
Serve in warm bowls with the remaining spinach divided among the bowls and if using, the Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
Per serving:  477 calories; 28g fat; 15.9 fiber.  
VARIATION:  you can also add a spoonful of Mexican Crema or Fat Free Sour Cream.
Lentil & Sausage Soup
Tuesday, February 27, 2007