One thing that continues to shock me about North Carolina is how quickly the weather can change. I made this soup just a couple of days ago, when we were spending our evenings snuggled under blankets and any outing required a search around the house for warm clothes.
In contrast, the last couple of days have been unseasonably warm! Now, we're driving with the windows down and actually contemplating exercise. Hopefully this weather is here to stay; if it isn't, I may just have to make this soup again.
This is a variation of a recipe found on Pinterest here, with a few changes based on what I had on hand. My husband and I aren't gluten-free, but this recipe is!
Lentil and Sausage Soup
Sliced Cooked Hot Italian Sausage*
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup mixed greens (mine are frozen)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup lentils
2-3 Tbsp tomato paste
Spices (black pepper, oregano, thyme, cayenne, onion and garlic powder)
*We buy sausage from a local butcher and always grill extras to keep in the freezer for soups and other dishes. Always double-check that your sausages (and other processed meats) are gluten-free!
In a large pot, saute the carrots, onion, and celery until the onions are beginning to soften. Add chopped sausage and saute enough to warm the slices and bring out some of the spices. Add garlic, lentils, and enough water to fully cover everything with an inch or two above. Add greens. Bring this to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked. Add canned tomatoes (do not drain), spices, and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste to start. Add more spices and tomato paste until the broth has good flavor. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
This soup is even better the next day, but don't expect it to last much longer than that!