Lentil Soup with Italian Chicken Sausage


(photo: thanks to thegivenschronicles.com for the photo)

We’re big fans of soup and we’ve covered many varieties such as chicken soup with tortellini, Italian cauliflower carrot, pea, escarole and bean, pasta e fagiolibroccoli bean soup, minestra, chickpea, and our perennial favorite lentil soup.

We like to begin our meals with a soup and then usually prepare a protein such as fish or pork, a green such as Swiss chard or dandelion, and some form of starch such as roasted potatoes with herbs.  However, there are many nights when the prospect of cooking a multi dish meal, and the inevitable clean up, isn’t very desirable.  So, what’s a hungry family to do?  My suggestion is to make a hearty soup and add some high quality protein to the zuppa!

We recently made a batch of our classic lentil soup and added sliced Italian chicken sausage.  We purchased our sausage from a local Whole Foods which includes a few spices, dark and white meat, and a bit of fat (this is their house made sausage found behind the butcher case).  You can of course use pork sausage as a substitute for chicken as it’s considered the more classic protein to pair with lentils. 
Make a batch of our lentil soup (the recipe can be found here).  Quickly steam the chicken sausage to about 80 percent done.  Remove from the pan and slice in 1/2 inch pieces and place the chicken into your soup pot.  Stir and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the sausage is completely cooked.  You can also remove the sausage from the casing and fry in a large pan and add to your bowl of soup just before serving, however this requires a bit more time and work (not to mean a bit more clean up given that you’ll be frying sausage).

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