A few weeks ago, my husband and I were eating dinner at Carrabba’s. He had forgone the salad — no surprise there, my guy’s not a huge fan of leafy, green food — for the sausage and lentil soup. While he was lapping it up, he was raving at how delicious it was while I was nibbling on my salad and wishing I had followed his example (although I’m a pretty big fan of green food).
He was enjoying it so much that I almost felt as if the chef at Carrabba’s were challenging me. “So, signora, you see I make the soup your husband loves best,” I imagined the chef saying, with a condescending sneer.
So, I said, “You know, I can make that.”
“You can?” He Who Must Be Fed answered, with love in his eyes.
Of course, that meant that I would have to produce said soup because He Who Must Be Fed would not forget.
I decided to alter a recipe for lentil soup with peas and ham that I had already made. So, I did a little recipe experiment.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 pound Italian sausage (I used part sweet, part hot)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, diced (that’s about three to four medium potatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water, divided
- 1 cup dried red lentils
- 3 tablespoons plain yogurt.
Heat the oil olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and onion and cook until the sausage is brown and the onion is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Add the celery, carrots, potatoes, 1/2 cup water and salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
Add the chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups water and the lentils. Cover and bring to a simmer. Uncover and cook until the potatoes are tender, and the lentils begin to fall apart, about 15 minutes. Stir in the yogurt and basil.
The result? I nailed it.
Try it and let me know if your loved ones love it, too. Then we can go back to Carrabba’s and give the chef the evil eye.