By Boo's Mom on April 04, 2006
Photo by FLKeysJen
Photo by FLKeysJen
"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!"
Serving Size: 1 (451 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 6
"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."
"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!"
"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!"
"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!"
"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."
"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."
"I am not rating this as a comparison to Carrabba's, because I have never tried theirs. The flavor of this soup was a bit bland, and I cannot put my finger on why. I added about 1T of basil, oregano and parsley and 1t of thyme, pepper. I might increase those a bit, use crushed tomatoes instead of diced and 1/2 to 1 cup less of lentils next time. Definitely worth a second attempt."
"Used this recipe many times and love it! I make it both on the stove and in the crockpot. I don't add the red pepper so my kids really enjoy this soup too. Try it...it won't disappoint!"
"I thought this recipe was amazing (made it for my hubby) but I think the cooking times are a bit off. I cut the recipe in half & it took about 1 1/2 hours for the lentils to cook. I also had to add about 2 cups of water & 1 more cup of broth along the way. I simmered at a bit of a "hard" boil to get the cooking going a little faster, so the extra water may have been my fault! I used "rope" turkey sausage (sliced into small pieces) instead of ground turkey sausage (will keep that idea in mind!). I also didn't have zucchini & used about 1/4-1/2 tsp of the spices. Hubby really did enjoy this, so I think it was worth the extra time & extra effort! If he ask for it again, I'll make sure to add the extra water & broth in the beginning, and make sure to bargain in a good 1 1/2 hours of cook time! thanks for sharing!"
"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."
"I have real bacon crumbled in the refrig., always... so I threw in a handful..... perfect!!! This soup is excellent!!!"
"Couple things I did differently: Added 1 box of frozen cream corn (took most of the cream off), added 5 med-large carrots, 5 celery ribs, 1-8oz can of diced tomatoes with juice, 1 whole garlic bulb (love garlic) & about 52oz total of chicken broth (I bought a 48 oz can & then added about 3-4 more ounces until it was as brothy as I wanted).
My own touch: 1/2 c parmesan cheese in the pot, dash of cinnamon & 1/2 tsp of lime zest.
You can also sprinkle parm cheese on top of your individual bowl if you love cheese, I do!
I added about 2tbs of basil & oregano & about 1tsp of thyme---all fresh.
I food processed everything except the lentils, diced tomatoes, corn and celery. I even processed the sausage after cooking, so there'd be no large chunks of sausage.
Wash the lentils first!
**Also I used fresh Italian parsley, about 3/4 cup, Kroger's regular parsley looked horrible!
Salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.
After it boils, letting it simmer for hours really helps, I accidentally left mine on the stove on low for 7 hours!! You could boil it on the stove then transfer to a crock pot and let it do its magic all night! YUM YUM!"
"My wife and I loved this soup at Carrabba's, and this is a perfect copy."
"this soup is so yummy!!! added more zucchini and sprinkled some parm. cheese on top. Served with a nice salad, crusty bread! thanks for this recipe, it's a keeper"
"Made it at home and everyone loved it! Went to Carrabba's and had it there. Not sure who's is better, but they were both delicious!"
"Simply great! Followed recipe using 1/2 tsp of all mentioned spices plus added 1 bay leaf. Used 8 cups chicken broth with 2 cups Lentils, and ground sweet Italian sausage. Blended 2 cups after simmering 50 min and added back for the final 10 min simmer. Added diced all beef Kielbasa the second time I made it ... also great. Served with Portuguese rolls. Fantastic."
"This is a lovely lentil stew recipe. I can't compare it to Carrabba's because I've never been there to try their version, but this lentil stew is richly flavorful. A couple helpful tips: Add 2-3 more cups of broth to thin it out(it won't be runny)and plan ahead for this meal by purchasing fresh herbs such as basil, oregeno, thyme and parsley--freshly ground pepper(I like to use peppercorn medley)will add so much more zest than store bought ground pepper. I made Albers sweet corn bread to go with it. Forgot the parm at the end, but there's always tomorrow night! Thanks Boo's Mom for sharing your wonderful lentil stew recipe:-)"
"This recipe is awesome! It is exactly what I was looking for. I use chicken italian sausage to cut down on the fat. It is only 4.5 gms of fat and 140 calories in 4 ounces. Much less than regular italian sausage. My husband even likes this and he is a "meat and potatoes" kind of guy. It freezes well too. If you are looking for something like Carrabba's soup, this is it! Enjoy."