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Found this in our local newspaper years ago. It is said to be the clone of the Restaurant Cucina Cucina. A family favorite. I make it with spicy bulk Italian chicken sausage, as the lentils really off-set the spiciness of the sausage. I use only 2 teaspoons of the mustard, but 2 1/2 tablespoons of the apple cider vinegar.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb Italian chicken sausage (bulk and spicy)
- 1⁄2 cup carrot, diced
- 1⁄2 cup onion, diced
- 1⁄4 cup celery, diced
- 1⁄4 cup leek, diced
- 1 1⁄2 cups lentils, rinsed
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup cream (heavy or whipping)
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (or less)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or more)
- 1 (14 ounce) can spinach, well drained
- salt and pepper
- grated parmesan cheese, to top when serving
- Brown bulk, chicken Italian sausage in olive oil and butter in soup pot. Stirring to encourage the meat to be as fine as possible. When brown, remove sausage with slotted spoon, set aside. Reserving juices in the soup pot.
- To the juices in the soup pot, add diced carrots, onions, celery and leeks. Cook over medium high heat until tender, adding more butter if needed.
- Add lentils and broth. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally to prevent lentils from sticking. When this comes to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 40 to 45 minutes.
- When lentils are tender, add sausage back to vegetables in the pot. Add cream, mustard, vinegar and spinach.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Return soup to the boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Serve hot with freshly grated parmesan cheese on top.