Depending on the salt content of your soup stock and sausage links, you may prefer not to add additional salt to this soup. If you do add salt, start with one-half teaspoon and increase it gradually until it suits your taste.
- 1 pound dried brown lentils
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1 T. chopped garlic (optional)
- 2 large, dried bay leaves
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 2 quarts beef, chicken or vegetable soup stock
- 1 pound Italian turkey sausage links, hot or sweet according to preference
- 3 medium white or yellow potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup peeled and diced raw carrots
Pour lentils into a colander and sort, pulling out any rocks or other debris. Wash well under running water. Shake to drain off excess water and place in large stock pot. Add onions, garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Pour soup stock over, stir, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 hours.
While lentils are cooking, peel and cut potatoes and carrots. Prepare sausage by cooking according to the directions on the package and slicing into 1/2-inch slices. Set all three ingredients aside.
When lentils are just starting to soften—they should mash with a fork into separate pieces, not a paste—add potatoes and carrots, stir well and return to a simmer.
Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sausage slices and simmer for an additional 20 to 30 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender. Stir and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve hot. This soup keeps well in the refrigerator. You can also freeze it; just omit the potatoes.
Makes approximately 8 main-dish servings.