The new year is almost upon us once again, so I am yet again working hard to focus on preparing heathy, low fat dishes that taste delicious too! This is a southern Italian dish that is hearty enough to serve as a main course, and with a few tweaks I made the soup a little healthier by adding extra vegetables and substituting turkey sausages instead of the usual pork variety. I double this recipe and freeze the soup in individual containers that I can pop into the microwave and heat up for a healthy, low fat lunch. Broccoli rabe has a slight bitter taste that I love, but if you prefer something milder in flavor, you could use swiss chard instead. You can even use the thicker broccoli rabe stems by peeling the outer fibrous skin and chopping them into bite sized pieces. I am lucky enough to have the tiny lentils from Castelluccio in Umbria, but otherwise I would choose the small green lentil instead of the larger orange variety which can become mushy when cooked.
Deborah Mele 2011
Lentil, Sausage & Broccoli Rabe Soup
A southern Italian soup that is hearty enough to be a main course.
- 1 Pound Dried Lentils
- 1/2 Pound Turkey Sausages Removed From Casings
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Large Carrot, Peeled And Diced
- 2 Celery Stalks, Diced
- 1 Small Onion, Peeled And Diced
- 2 Garlic Cloves, Peeled And Minced
- 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 1 Cup Chopped Tomatoes
- Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
- Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
- 1 Bunch Broccoli Rabe, Washed, & Chopped
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Combine the lentils with 2 quarts of water in a large stock pot.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender.
- In a separate pot, heat the olive oil and cook the carrots, onions, and celery until tender.
- Add the garlic and sausage meat and continue to cook until the sausage is lightly browned, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks.
- Add the sausage and vegetables to the lentils wit the tomato paste and chopped tomatoes.
- Season with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes if using.
- Add the broccoli rabe to the lentil pot with 2 to 3 cups of additional water.
- Continue to cook until the broccoli rabe is tender.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
- Serve with a sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese.