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As the weather has continued to get colder here (as chilly as NC can get… please don’t yell at me if you live Michigan or upstate NY.  I know it’s way colder there!), I’ve been on the hunt for some great soup recipes.   I really lean toward vegetable soups but also don’t want to be hungry 2 hours later.  Does that happen to you?

I think this smoked sausage and lentil soup has a little bit of everything.  Wonderful vegetables (like fennel), the smoky flavors of the turkey sausage and it was easy to put together.  Most importantly, it is a heartier soup.

I adore fennel {as you already know from this post} and reserving a few of those frilly, whispy fennel fronds  makes a very pretty garnish when you serve it.

So, let’s get started shall we?  You probably have most of the ingredients already.

You’ll need a 1/2 cup (about 2-3) of chopped carrots and a 1/2 cup chopped onion (about half of a small onion).

Mince 4 garlic cloves.  The garlic will get sauteed in 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium low heat.

Chop 1 medium fennel bulb so that you’ll have 1 cup of chopped fennel.  Remember to reserve the fennel fronds.

Here are the fennel fronds that I’ve set aside to garnish the finished soup.

Once you’ve sauteed the minced garlic for about 1 minute, add the chopped onions and cook until translucent.  Next, add the carrots and fennel and continue to cook over medium heat until they are softened and the fennel is just turning golden.

Add 6 cups of water and the 1 1/4 cup of washed and drained lentils to the stockpot.  Add the 2 tsp of sea salt (or Kosher salt) and 1/4 tsp of freshly ground black pepper.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, brown the smoked turkey sausage in a 10-inch skillet.  You’ll need 6 ounces of sausage, sliced 1/2-inch thick.  I’m already wondering what to do with the remaining 6 ounces.  Ideas?

When the sausage has browned add it to your stockpot.  And now you’re ready to add the 3 tbsp of red wine vinegar to the soup.

Once you’ve added the browned sausage and the red wine vinegar, give everything  a stir and taste to be sure the lentils are done and the seasonings are correct.  Adjust if needed.

Smoked Sausage and Lentil Soup

Ingredients

1 fennel bulb, chopped and fennel fronds reserved

4 cloves garlic, minced

1tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/2 cup carrots, chopped

1 1/4 cups lentils, rinsed and drained

6 cups water

2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

6 ounces smoked turkey sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

3 tbsp red wine vinegar

Method

Saute the minced garlic in the olive oil over medium-low heat in a stockpot for 1 minute.  Add the onion and continue to cook until translucent.  Next, add the carrots and fennel and cook until vegetables are soft.  Pour the water into the stockpot.  Add the lentils and the salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.  While soup is simmering, brown the sausage in a 10-inch skillet.  Add the sausage and the red wine vinegar to the stockpot and stir to combine.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.

Ladle soup into individual bowls and garnish with reserved fennel fronds.

Yield: 4-6 as a main dish

 

We’re hoping for a quiet weekend, {read: no more illnesses} and just fun together as a family.  Basketball games, baseball practice and maybe a few board games if the rain keeps up.  I hope each of you has a wonderful {and healthy} weekend too.

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