Friday, November 7, 2008

Cucina! Cucina! Lentil Soup

I was never a big fan of lentils until I tried this soup at a Cucina! Cucina! restaurant. Sadly, the Cucina chain is defunct but since I love replicating my restaurant favorites, I knew I had to figure this one out. This is an awesome cold weather crockpot recipe that I prep ahead and just pour into the crockpot in the morning before I take off for work. I have used either chicken or italian pork sausage, both come out delicious. If I have it, I will also add chopped spinach for extra nutrients. For this soup, chopping finely is key - no one even realizes how many great veggies they are getting in this soup. I have also added a creamy option, which was how the original was served.

1 cup carrots, finely diced
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
1 small onion, finely diced
11/2 cups chopped spinach
11/2 cups dried lentils
1 lb sausage, chicken or italian pork
32oz chicken stock
1tsp dijon mustard
Red wine vinegar

Optional: Fresh Basil, parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half

Brown the sausage in a skillet, breaking into small pieces. Toss all vegetables into crockpot, add browned sausage, stock, mustard and 2-3 splashes of vinegar, salt and pepper (all to taste). Cook on low 8-10 hours.

Creamy version: After cooking on low for 8-10 hours, add 1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half and turn heat to high for 30 minutes.

Serve with a sprinkling of chopped fresh basil and parmesan cheese.


Grazie to The Grocery Cart Challenge for hosting a terrific recipe swap every Friday!


Gayle said...

I can't wait to try this. I inherited a lifetime supply of lentils from my sister when she moved and I'm trying to use them up. This looks yummy!

MamaFeelgood said...

This sounds great!

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