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I have a confession.  I don’t like beans.  *I didn’t say it was a jaw-dropping confession.*

I’ve tried over and over to like beans.  I like the idea of beans; the slow simmering, the warm delicious smell.  There’s just something about the flavor and texture I don’t enjoy.

Which is too bad because this time of year makes me want something bubbling on the stove.  Especially on days when the mercury doesn’t rise above freezing.  Soups.  Stews.  Chili.  Yes, please.  So, I decided a while back to try beans again.  Well, kind of beans.  More like beans adjacent.

Lentils, to be exact.  And I discovered I really liked them.  A lot.  Because I have never been a bean eater, I wasn’t exactly sure how to cook them though.  But after a thorough search of the World Wide Web (and reading of the lentil package), I found a method to try.  I played around with the ingredients and developed a recipe I really liked and the family seemed to love, too.  Lentils

Sausage and Lentil Soup

  • 14 oz. smoked sausage (I use spicy)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 4 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 2 big handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 2 cups of water
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 cups of lentils
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • paprika, for color
  • salt / pepper, to taste

Cut smoked sausage in quarters lengthwise, then slice across.  Brown in a large stock pot over medium high heat.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Brown onion in drippings, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add 2 cups of water and scrape bottom of pan to loosen the browned yummy bits.  Add the 4 cups of chicken stock, carrots, celery, Rotel, and seasonings.  Bring to a boil.  Add lentils.  Return to boil.  Stir in sausage, reduce heat to low, and cover.  Cook lentils until tender, about 45 minutes.

At this point, I remove the lid (and the bay leaves) and add the torn spinach. Continue to let the soup simmer uncovered until it’s as thick as you like.

 

DSC_0038 (529x353)The best thing?  It makes a lot.  And the leftovers are even better than the first overs!