Autumn Vegetable Soup with Sausage and Green Lentils
This Autumn Vegetable Soup is truly comfort in a bowl! It's full of more veggies than you can count on both hands, hearty sausage, and green lentils. It will warm you inside and out all through fall and winter.
8ounces(225 grams) sweet Italian sausage(I use sweet chicken or turkey sausage)
1medium onioncut into ½-inch pieces
2garlic clovessmashed and minced
1large carrotpeeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
2celery stalkscut into ½-inch pieces
½teaspoon plus 1 tablespoonkosher salt
1tablespoonsmoked Spanish paprika
1teaspoonminced fresh thymeor ½ teaspoon dried thyme
½teaspoonfennel seedsfinely chopped or ground (I omit this)
1small potatopeeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1large parsnippeeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1large leekwhite and tender green parts, well rinsed and chopped
7or 8 button mushroomswiped clean and halved (I use cremini mushrooms)
1small turnippeeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
¼small butternut squashpeeled and cut into ½-inch pieces (I use almost ½ a small butternut squash)
2quartsvegetable stock, chicken stock, or water
1cup(130 grams) canned “no salt added” crushed tomatoes
1teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
¾cup(135 grams) green lentils, rinsed
2cups(85 grams) packed chopped winter greens, such as escarole, kale, or Swiss chard
In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Split the casing on each sausage, break up the meat into large pieces, and add the pieces to the pot. Stir with a wooden spoon, breaking up the meat into smaller pieces, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the meat is mostly cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a bowl and set aside.
Add the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery to the stockpot and stir over medium-high heat with a wooden spoon for a few minutes, scraping up the browned bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. This residue is called the fond and it will add lots of flavor to your soup (even if you can’t scrape all of it up at this point, you will be able to loosen it up later when you add the stock). When all of the fond has been scraped from the bottom, reduce the heat to medium-low, add the tomato paste and the ½ teaspoon salt, and stir to combine. Add the bay leaves and stir for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the vegetables are thoroughly coated with the tomato paste. Reduce the heat to low. Add the paprika, thyme, turmeric, oregano, cumin, fennel seeds, curry powder, and cinnamon and stir for 3 to 4 minutes to toast the spices.
Add the reserved sausage and stir until evenly coated with the spice mixture. Raise the heat to medium; add the potato, parsnip, leek, mushrooms, turnip, and squash; and cook, stirring for a few minutes. Add the stock and tomatoes and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon salt and the pepper. Raise the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add the lentils and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Add the winter greens and stir well, Let the soup simmer for 1 minute, or until the escarole is cooked. The soup should be thick and stewy. Fish out the bay leaves and discard. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately.
The soup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
I use my 5 ½ quart Le Creuset Dutch oven and it's the perfect size.