Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr
I've gone to Carrabas many times just for this soup. A lady from my supper club happened to bring this in for our soup theme and it tasted exactly like Carrabas! I've substituted Italian turkey many times and you would never notice the difference. You might also want to sprinkle some fresh basil and Parmesan cheese on top. Its good with a crusty piece of bread!
- 1 lb Italian sausage (You can also use Italian turkey sausage)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 1 small zucchini, chopped
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 -3 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups dry lentils
- black pepper
- red pepper flakes
- Brown sausage; drain off fat.
- In a large pot combine all ingredients bring to boil.
- Reduce heat,cover.
- Simmer for about 1 hour or until lentils are tender. Add water if necessary, for desired consistency. I like to puree about 1 cup of the soup and add back to pot to give it a thicker consistency.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.
My husband keeps raving about this soup. I browned the sausage and all the veggies and then put them in the crock pot. I boiled the lentils (I used red lentils) in chicken broth for 30 minutes. I probably used 1.75 cups lentils and 4 cups broth. Then I put everything in the crock pot on low for about 5 hours. It was thick like stew. I used two pints of my homemade canned tomatoes. 1tsp of all the spices except 1/2 of thyme because it's not my favorite. Served with a dollop of sour cream and extra hot pepper flakes for a few of us.
The soup from Carrabbas has bacon so I added a pound of smoked bacon. I also added 1/4 tsp of fennel seeds and a bay leaf. I omitted extra salt and red pepper flakes because I used hot sausage and 1.5 cartons of chicken broth with salt and figured everyone could adjust theirs to taste. Everyone loved it! Also, I threw everything into the crockpot and let it cook on low for about 4 hours rather than cooking it on the stove top (I did brown and drain the sausage and bacon.) Will make this again and again, especially in the cold months.
Update 12/14/2012: I have now officially mastered the soup! Have made this more than a dozen times since that first review. I now freeze the smoked bacon in the package for an hour before cutting it into 1/4 inch pieces, then bake it at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes instead of frying. I drain the bacon and the sausage but I do saute the chopped veggies (just onion, carrots, and celery--no zucchini) in a few spoons of bacon fat. I also puree about 1/3 to 1/2 with my immersion blender when it's close to done. Wow, it can't possibly get any better than this!
Just made this last night and I can't stop raving about it! I took some suggestions from other reviewers by adding spinach, red wine vinegar and some hot sauce. I let the soup simmer for about two hours until it was more a stew consistency, just a personal preference. Thanks so much for posting, I'm adding this to my permanent soup collection!