I actually have a third tasty soup to share. This one is reminiscent of one of our family favorites, Lentil-Kielbasa Soup. Don’t worry- it’s not so similar that it will prevent me from making my tried and true lentil-sausage soup as well this season. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Sarah Digregorio. I used French green lentils instead of black lentils, modified the proportions and incorporated a mixture of CSA greens including beet greens, broccoli greens and escarole. I also garnished the soup with my CSA parsley instead of basil.
This soup could easily be made on the stove top instead of in a slow cooker. I loved that it gobbled up my CSA greens too.
Yield: 6 servings
- 1 pound hot or sweet Italian pork sausage, loose or removed from its casing
- olive oil, if necessary
- 1 large red or yellow onion, chopped
- Kosher salt
- 10 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 2 oregano sprigs, leaves only, or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- generous pinch of red-pepper flakes
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups dried lentils, preferably black beluga (I used French green lentils)
- 1 (14-ounce) can whole or chopped tomatoes
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 5 ounces greens, such as baby spinach or kale, or 1 medium bunch greens, such as chard or kale, stemmed and chopped (I used a mixture of beet & broccoli greens with escarole)
- 1 T red-wine vinegar
- chopped fresh parsley or basil, for garnish
- grated Parmigiano Reggiano, for garnish
- In a large, dry skillet over medium-high heat, cook the sausage, breaking it up with a spatula, until it is in small, coarse pieces, and starts to brown and sizzle in its own fat, about 8 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked sausage to a 5- to 8-quart slow cooker. There should be a thin layer of fat covering the bottom of the skillet. If there is much more than that, pour a bit of the fat off. If there is not enough fat to cover the bottom of the pan, add a drizzle of olive oil.
- Add the onion to the skillet, season generously with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, add garlic and cook until softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add the onion and garlic powders, the herbs, red pepper flakes and several generous grinds of black pepper. Stir to combine.
- Increase heat to medium-high, pour in the wine and stir well, scraping the bottom of the pot. Let the wine bubble until the pan is almost dry, about 3 minutes.
- Scrape the skillet mixture into the slow cooker with the sausage.
- Add the bay leaf and the lentils.
- Add the tomatoes with their juice. If using whole, crush the tomatoes into pieces using your hands as you add them with their juice.
- Pour in the chicken stock.
- Season generously with pepper and add 1/2 teaspoon salt if you are using low-sodium stock or 1 teaspoon salt if using homemade unsalted stock. Do not add salt now if you are using fully salted stock.
- Stir well to combine all ingredients. Cover and cook on low until the lentils are tender, about 6 to 8 hours. (Taste the lentils to make sure they are firm but creamy on the inside; black lentils can vary in their cooking time depending on their age and the heat of your slow cooker.) The soup holds well on warm for 2 additional hours.
- Switch the heat to high. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs. Stir in the greens and cook until wilted and tender, about 2 minutes for baby spinach, 10 minutes for kale.
- Stir in the vinegar.
- Serve in bowls, topped with chopped parsley and/or basil and grated Parmesan.