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!
Delicious! Used 1 tsp. red pepper flakes, basil, oregano and parsley, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, and 1/4 tsp. ground thyme. Some of us added a little hot sauce to our portions. Didn't have zucchini on hand, but will add that next time. Can't wait to have the leftovers for lunch today! Thanks for sharing this!
Had to substitute haricot beans and red lentils for the brown lentils and eggplant for the zucchini so my soup was different to the one in the recipe. Nevertheless we loved it - added the red wine vinegar to our individual bowls. The vinegar adds another dimension of flavour. I'll definitely make this again - as stated in the recipe this time.
Wonderful recipe! My husband loves this soup and requests it quite often. Thanks for posting it!
Cooked this for the first time for the NE Blizzard of Feb 2013. Perfect meal with crusty bread. I used pre-cooked spicy chicken sausage that I simply sliced and put in at the beginning with all the other ingredients. Since no measurements were provided on the herbs I put in 1tsp of everything it asked for. I also added an extra 1/2 cup of lentils and a can of Guiness Stout. It was absolutely delicious!
This was delicious! I used a potato instead of zucchini, because I didn't have one. I used beef bullion because I am out of chicken. I used two New Orleans style sausages instead and 1/2 lb of ground beef because its what I had. I also needed to add two more cups of water and it was still nice and thick. I added 1/2 tsp of each of the spices listed, well except the salt and pepper. I also threw in a handful of frozen spinach. I will definitely make it as posted when I have all of the ingredients on hand.
This was a really good lentil soup. I used the full amount of lentils, but followed others' suggestions and added 3 extra cups of broth, spinach and lemon (instead of the vinegar). I also added less salt, extra garlic and topped it with fresh Italian parsley. The flavors are great together. Generous portions, probably serves 10-12 big eaters.
I changed the recipe quite a bit bacause I sis not have all of the ingredients. I elimated the zucchini, instead adding baby bella mushrooms and spinich. I reduced the lentils to 1 1/2 cups, and at the end I added 2 additional cups of chicken broth (It was too think for me). After all of that the soup got rave reviews from my family. I will make again.