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Feb
20

Italian Lentil Soup

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Ever been to Carrabba’s?  I think this recipe rivals their Italian Lentil Soup.  There will stilll be several cold days ahead.  This soup is loaded with flavor and will warm you from head to toe.  A couple of tips to use in your kitchen.  When a recipe calls for diced bacon strips, put the bacon strips in the freezer for a few minutes.  It will be much easier to get a good dice on them, they’ll be a little more solid and easier to work with.  Be sure to drain off the excess bacon grease.  It doesn’t look pretty floating on top of the great bowl of soup you worked so hard to create.  Actually, this recipe is pretty easy to make.  Just let your family think that you slaved to make this great tasting dish.  Here we go!

Italian Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 3 strips of bacon, diced
  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 6 cups chicken or beef stock
  • 1 pound dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 cup diced zucchini
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, snipped
  • grated Parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar to finish

Directions:

Place the sausages in a small saucepan with water to cover and bring to a boil.  Cook until the sausages are no longer pink, about 10 minutes.  Drain.  Pierce the casings so the fat drains off.  Rinse and when cool enough to handle slice into 1/2 inch coins.

Meanwhile, saute’ the bacon in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Drain of the excess fat and add the garlic, celery, onions and carrots.  Cook, stirring, until the veggies are soft.  Add 1 cup of the stock and deglaze the pan.  Add the lentils, remaining stock, tomatoes, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Sit in the basil and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer and cook, covered, for about 1 hour.  Check from time to time and add water if necessary.  Just before serving, stir in the zucchini and parsley, and cook about 2 minutes.  Taste and re-season with salt and pepper.  Serve with balsamic vinegar, grated Parmesan cheese and extra red pepper flakes on the side.   Makes about 8 servings.

Enjoy!

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Categories : Soups and Salads

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