I have been waiting to make this recipe for about a month. Waiting for the weather to cool down enough so that a nice, warm bowl of soup would be satisfying. And finally the weather has turned to our normal autumn temps (mid 60s) and I knew it was time to make it. Since I took an extra day off, I wanted to make at least 2 “big pot” dinners this weekend. This was one of them. (Not sure yet what the other will be).
My sister was the one who first told me about this soup, hence the name. She found pre-cooked, steamed lentils at Trader Joe’s and said that this was one of the heartiest, flavorful soups that she’d made in a long time. She said her kids even liked it, which is really saying something when we’re talking about lentils. LC made hers very basic – just lentils, carrots, onions, and vegetable broth. I knew I wanted to add the chicken sausage just to give it a bit more substance. Then yesterday on the phone with my mom, she suggested that I add pasta, and when I told her I didn’t have any on hand, I thought about adding the brown rice. So, this really is a family collaboration.
Trader Joe’s steamed lentils (about 2 cups of lentils) 1 pkg spicy Italian chicken sausage (4 links) 2-3 cups baby carrots, cut in half 1 cup brown rice 2 32-oz containers vegetable broth (I used low sodium) 1 onion, chopped 4-5 cloves minced garlic (or as much as you like) 1 TBSP olive oil salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
Nutrition info: When I pulled these ingredients into the WW Recipe Builder, it came out to 7 points for 6 large servings.
Cook the brown rice according to package directions. Mine took 30 minutes. 1 cup rice to 2 cups water.
After rice is finished, chop the onion and begin sauteing it in 1 TBSP olive oil. Add minced garlic, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
While the onions are cooking, cut each baby carrot in half. You can obviously cut them as small as you like, but since I don’t like my cooked carrots to be too mushy, I wanted them a bit larger.
Add carrots to pot.
Next I cut each pre-cooked chicken sausage link into 7 pieces. I did this so that I’d know how much to include in each serving. (About 4-5 pieces).
I like these sausages because they’re quick, and each one is only 3 points. In general, though, I like the taste of the Jenny-O Italian turkey sausage better. These are what I had on hand and they’re also really convenient, because they’re already cooked. I added them to the pot so that they could get some of the flavors of the veggies and garlic and brown up a bit.
Next, add the brown rice and vegetable broth. Stir well.
Keep on high until the pot comes to a boil – about 10-15 minutes.
At that point, lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
This slightly tilted cover is the way my mom always simmers sugo (pasta sauce) and soups, so it’s the way I do it, too. It allows a bit of air to escape, letting whatever is in the pot get a bit thicker. Or something like that. I do it because Mom does it, ok?
The house smelled so good while this was simmering away on the stove. This is really one of the easiest soup recipes I’ve made, and I love that it has so much protein and fiber in it. Although it does take some time, it is a great thing to make on the weekends and eat all week. You can get a lot of other household chores done while the rice is cooking at the beginning and while the soup is simmering at the end.
Yum! This bowl not only satisfied me for hours, it warmed me inside and out. I’ll definitely make this again and again throughout the fall and winter months.