Snow Day Spicy Brown Lentil Soup

It’s amazing what you can come up with when there’s too much snow outside to get to the grocery store. This should probably more accurately be called “clean out the veggie bin and pantry” lentil soup. Lentils are a great blank canvas. Toss them in with any aromatics and a good flavorful liquid and you’ve got yourself a tasty soup. I used hot sausage in this but meat is completely optional. If you really want to add some kick, substitute 1 tsp of Cajun seasoning for the thyme springs. This makes about 6 servings.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 3/4 cup celery, diced 
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 10 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth 
  • 4 to 6 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2/3 cup dried whole wheat elbow pasta
  • 7 oz hot smoked sausage diced into half moon rounds  

Directions

1. Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat.

2. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, salt, and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.

 3. Add the tomatoes with their juices. Simmer for about 8 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

4.  Add the lentils and broth and stir. Add the thyme sprigs.

5. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes.

 6. Stir in the pasta and sausage. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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