Yield: 6 quarts
This hearty soup is delicious. For a vegetarian option, leave the sausage out and use vegetable broth. Never throw out rinds of Parmesan cheese – freeze them and use them for soup!
- 1 pound brown lentils
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 cups diced yellow onions (3 large)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dry thyme, crushed
- 3 cups medium diced celery (8 stalks)
- 3 cups medium diced carrots (4 to 6 carrots)
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 3 quarts (12 cups) chicken broth
- 4 pre-cooked spicy chicken sausages, cut in 1/2 lengthwise and sliced 1/3-inch thick
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 Parmesan rind and freshly grated Parmesan, for serving, optional
- Rinse lentils in a strainer and pick out any debris. Set aside.
- In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, and thyme for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent and tender.
- Add the celery, carrots and tomato paste. Mix to combine. Sauté for another 10 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth and lentils. If you’re adding a Parmesan rind to the soup, add it now. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add the sausage and vinegar and simmer until heated through. Remove the Parmesan rind. Serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese.
Adapted from foodnetwork.com