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Italian Sausage and Lentil Soup

1 Italian sausage hot -- casings removed
2 cloves garlic -- minced
1 cup onion -- chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup dry red wine -- optional
1 cup lentils
2 stalks celery -- chopped
1 large carrot -- chopped
1 small green pepper -- chopped
1 small zucchini -- chopped
1 28 ounce tomatoes -- crushed
4 cups chicken or beef stock
salt and pepper

Crumble sausages into skillet; sauté over medium heat with garlic and onion until sausage is no longer pink and vegetables are soft. Drain off excess fat.

Measure all ingredients except salt & pepper into slow cooker. Stir to mix well.

Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours or until lentils and vegetables are tender. If too thick, add more stock. Season to taste with salt & pepper and remove bay leaf before serving pass the Parmesan to sprinkle on soup!

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