Lentil and Sausage Soup

This recipe for soup from Cucina! Cucina!, printed in Foodday, is well adapted to winter vegetables.  Use mustard greens in place of the spinach and reduce the mustard that is called for.

  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage links
  • ½ c. finely diced onion
  • ½ c. finely diced carrot
  • ¼ c. finely diced leeks
  • ¼ c. finely diced celery or celeriac
  • 1 ½ c. uncooked lentils
  • 4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 c. whipping cream
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard (or less)
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 c. finely sliced mixed greens
  • salt and pepper

In a heavy-bottomed 2-3 quart saucepan, heat the butter and oil until the butter is melted.  Add the sausage links and brown evenly on all sides.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until sausages are cooked through.  Remove from pan and allow to cool.  Add the onion, carrot, leeks and celery or celeriac to the remaining butter in pan.  Cook over medium-high heat until the vegetables are tender.  Add the lentils and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent lentils from sticking.  Hen broth comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until lentils are tender, 40-45 minutes.  While soup is simmering, cut sausages into ¼ inch slices.  When lentils are tender, add sausage, cream, mustard, vinegar and three quarters of the greens.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Return soup to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 more minutes.  Serve in warm bowls with remaining greens divided among bowls and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

Serves 8.