Loaded Lentil Soup is very hearty and filling, but I call it “Loaded” because it’s packed with wonderful nutrients and fiber. For only 309 calories you’ll get 5 grams of fiber and 19 grams of protein. If you prefer a vegetarian version omit the sausage and use a little more oil to start the veggies.
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 pound andouille sausage, diced
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced bell pepper, any color
1/4 cup chopped celery leaves
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
6 cups broth; ham, chicken or vegetable
1 bay leaf
1/2 pound dry lentils
1. In a 4 quart soup pot or Chef’s pan over medium heat, film the bottom of the pan with oil. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally until the sausage begins to brown. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.
2. Add the onion, carrot, and celery to the pot and cook until the veggies just start to soften, then add the bell pepper and cook all until brown edges start to appear.
3. Add the celery leaves, salt, and peppers and stir until the celery leaves start to wilt, then return the sausage and add the tomatoes.
4. Cook and stir the vegetable mixture for a few minutes, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the bay leaf and broth and bring to a boil.
5. Stir in the lentils, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the lentils are tender, stirring occasionally. (about 30 minutes)
6. Depending on how long you simmer the soup and how soft you like the lentils, you may need to add more broth or water. Add a pinch of sugar if your tomatoes seem too acidic.