The weather is supposed to turn decidedly colder here in New York tomorrow and stay that way for at least the few days after that, meaning it creeps even closer to actually being winter here and makes the idea of soups and stews even more palatable than before. I have already been getting my arsenal of recipes ready to make soups and stews this winter and have a bunch i want to try, but I decided to start out with this particular recipe that I found mainly because I had a lot of Italian sausage in the freezer and a bag of lentils that I was trying to figure out what to do with. I came across this recipe from Todd Wilbur as a Top Secret recipe and a version of Carrabba’s spicy sausage lentil soup. I have never had this particular soup at Cararabba’s and I have only been to a Carrabba’s once in my life so I don’t know much about them, but this soup sounded pretty good and easy to make, so I gave it a shot. This recipe makes a large portion, and I’ll show the original recipe here, but I cut this recipe in half to make it for my family.
Spicy Sausage Lentil Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup minced onion
3/4 cup grated and minced carrot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound uncooked hot Italian sausage
2 ounces diced ham
7 cups water
5 cups chicken broth
1 pound dry lentils
1 tomato, diced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove the Italian sausage from its casing and add it to the pan. Saute the sausage for about 8 minutes, stirring it often. Break up the sausage into bite-size bits as it cooks with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add the diced ham, stir to combine with the other ingredients in the pot and cook the mixture for an additional minute.
Add the water, chicken broth, lentils, tomato, white wine vinegar, basil, parsley, bay leaves, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano and red pepper flakes and stir to combine the ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the soup for about 1 hour, until the lentils are tender. Serve the soup in cups or bowls.
It’s a pretty basic recipe that gives you some great flavors. I love lentil soup on its own but adding the sausage to it added some great flavor and spice. You can use a ham steam for the ham or if you don’t have that I think deli ham would suffice or just leave out the ham altogether if you like. This makes a lot of soup, even after I cut the recipe in half for the three of us there was a lot leftover, which is okay with me because it makes a great lunch alternative for this time of year. It is simple with great chunks of sausage to go along with the lentils, vegetables and herbs and it gets a little kick from the hot sausage and the pepper flakes.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!