Butternut Squash, Kale, Sausage & Lentil Soup


Despite the fact that it is fall, here in Florida, the high temperatures still make it feel like summer. I love making soup despite the season, especially grain and vegetable based soups that are healthy, low fat, yet filling and delicious. When the weather is warm, I like to serve my soups at room temperature, or just slightly warm, with a drizzle of our wonderful, recently harvested olive oil and a sprinkling of freshly grated cheese. I brought back a few bags of Umbrian lentils from Castelluccio when we returned from Umbria earlier this month, so I decided to make a big pot of lentil soup. For this soup, you want the lentils to hold their shape, so use the small beige lentils or French green lentils, not the larger red lentils that become mushy when cooked.

To celebrate fall, I added in some kale and butternut squash to my lentils, and because I was making the soup for dinner, I added some spicy Italian turkey sausage to make the soup heartier. If you would prefer to make a meatless soup, simply skip the addition of the sausage, and the soup will still be delicious! This soup comes together quickly, and I usually double the recipe and freeze the leftovers in containers that I can enjoy for lunch in the future. If you have fresh pesto on hand, try putting a dollop of the pesto on top the soup when serving.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2016

Butternut Squash, Kale, Sausage & Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 Sausage Links (About 1/2 Pound), Meat Removed From Casings
  • 1 Medium Onion, Diced
  • 2 Celery Stalks, Diced
  • 1 Carrot, Trimmed & Diced
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Medium Sized Butternut Squash, Peeled, Seeded And Cut Into Small Dice
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme, Finely Chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Rosemary, Finely Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 1/4 Cup Lentils
  • 6-8 Cups Low Sodium Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Bunch of Tuscan ale, Ribs Removed, Thinly Sliced

To Serve:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Freshly Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add the sausage meat, onions, celery, carrots, and garlic.
  2. Cook, stirring often, until the meat is no longer pink, and the vegetables have softened, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add the squash, thyme, rosemary, tomato paste, lentils, vegetable stock, and kale.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft, and the lentils are tender.
  5. Season well with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve warm topped with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of grated cheese.