Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Lucky Lentil Soup for the New Year

HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone! The Mayans were wrong, thank goodness, and I hope we're all feeling blessed that we're still on the planet...as we should every day. But to up the chances of even more blessings in 2013, the old tradition is to eat foods with lots and lots of small pieces that symbolize--like many coins--bounty and wealth in the coming year. In the south, they eat Hoppin' John with black-eyed peas, but the Italians favor lentils and sausage for their New Year's supper. (My theme certainly seems to be Italy this holiday season.)

I found a simple soup recipe (on Pinterest, of course) that looked wonderful, and naturally, I put a few of my own twists on it and made it ever better. And then, of course, I adapted it to be made in the crock pot so that I could lounge about all day with my BFF, enjoying a marathon of the second season of Homeland.

Crock Pot Lentil, Tomato, and Sausage Soup
(Source: adapted from David Rocco, Canadian House and Home, via Pinterest)

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, rinsed and diced
2 fresh chili peppers, chopped (I used one ginormous jalapeno)
2 cloves garlic, chopped (or 4!)
2 (15-oz.) cans diced tomatoes (I used a garlic and rosemary variety)
1 1/2 cups green or brown lentils, rinsed and drained
1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound Italian sausage
1 bunch parsley, stems removed and leaves chopped
In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil. Add onion, celery, and chili pepper. When softened, add the garlic and cook another couple of minutes.  Add tomatoes and juices from the tins. With the back of a wooden spoon, break up the tomatoes into smaller pieces.

Add the tomato mixture and rinsed lentils to the crock pot.  Pour in the vegetable or chicken stock and add the diced carrots and seasonings. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-10. Toward the end of cooking time (last 30 minutes or so), brown the sausage, breaking into small chunks, and add to the soup along with the chopped fresh parsley. Add more broth to thin the soup if necessary.

Garnish with a sprinkle of Italian cheese blend or Parmesan or Romano.


Beau said...

I can't believe I just discovered your blog, love all your recipes! The Chili's copycat chicken enchilada recipe is on the menu tomorrow night and the lucky lentil soup next week

Joy Bugaloo said...

Wonderful! Do let me know how they turned out for you...