What do you do with the leftover lentils from yesterday’s salmon dinner? Make soup!
It sounds pretty crazy to be thinking of eating soup on a 90 something degree day outside. But it is freezing inside my house. So I decided a hot bowl of soup and some cornbread would be a great lunch for my brown couch Sunday. My goal is to catch up on all of my recorded shows and watch a few movies. Right now I am watching the Back-up Plan with Jennifer Lopez and, even though this was not part of my plan, it is actually pretty funny.
I did not have any sausage for this recipe so I shredded a chicken breast and used that instead. Lentils are extremely filling and will soak up the flavors of whatever liquid you decide to cook them in. Lentils are high in protein and fiber and low in fat. They're also packed with folate, iron, phosphorus, potassium and fiber. Unlike other legumes, lentils cook quickly without pre-soaking. Lentils come in three main varieties -brown, green and red.
Brown lentils can be cooked for about 20-30 minutes in water or broth and should not be overcooked because they'll become too soft and mushy. They are most commonly found in your local grocery store. Green lentils are also referred to as French lentils. Green lentils hold their shape well, but take longer to cook than other lentils, around 45 minutes. Red lentils are the nuttiest of the three and they are good in Indian dishes. You will most often find them in Indian or Middle Eastern markets.
1 pkg Andouille sausage
1 medium white onion, diced
1 pkg button mushrooms, sliced
2-3 cloves minced garlic
6 c chicken broth
1 lb dried lentils
½ c celery
1 8 oz. bag of fresh baby spinach
1/2 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and pepper
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Slice the sausage into small cubes. Add sausage to pot and cook until slightly browned, approximately 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan and drain any excess fat with paper towels.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the hot pan and add the celery, onions and mushrooms; saute until translucent. Add minced garlic and saute for another minute. Add the thyme and bay leaf . Stir until spices are thoroughly combined.
Add the lentils. Stir. Incorporate the chicken broth and stir to combine. Increase heat to bring the soup to a boil. Once it begins boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and partially cover the pot. Let simmer for approximately 30-40 minutes or until the lentils have become soft, puffed up and absorbed a good amount of the liquid.
Add the spinach, stirring to combine. Stir in the sausage. Add salt and pepper to taste.
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