I think I’ve saved the best soup for last.
This is a holy grail soup. It is cozy and comforting, and my soul feels at ease upon taking one bite of it. And if like me, you woke up to a blanket of snow on the ground this morning, it’s exactly what you’d want on a cold day. This soup has been my favourite for years on that basis alone. It has to be one of my favourite meals that my mom makes, so naturally I’ve adopted and adapted it for the sake of this blog and Soup Week 2017. In my house (my parents’ house, rather), it’s known as “Julie’s Soup” because my mom’s friend Julie gave her the recipe and the name has stuck. I think that for a while, I had a Pavlovian response to learning that my mom was making Julie’s Soup for dinner…if that tells you anything about it. (It probably reveals a lot about me, too, but that’s okay.)
If you’re in dire need for a hearty soup, listen up.
It’s got absolutely everything you could want in a soup. Chunks of delicious, flavourful Italian sausage, tons of veggies, everyone’s favourite legume: lentils. I mean it: it’s all the elements that makes soups wonderful, combined into one (minus a form of pasta, but that may be pushing it). Top your bowl off with a little grated Parmesan, and you’re basically ready to enter a new plane of existence. It’s ideal for those chilly fall nights when you need a warming pick-me-up. Plus, it yields a genuine ton of soup, which means leftovers for days! I rarely get around to freezing this soup, because it’s usually all gone within a few days.
I hope everyone enjoyed Soup Week 2017! Thank goodness for Ziplock bags and freezers, because otherwise I’d have no idea what to do with all this soup. Also, you can certainly expect many more delectable soup recipes in the future, because I have many more up my sleeve!
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Italian sausages (heat level of your choice), casings removed
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large or 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 bell pepper (colour of your choice)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ c. red wine
- 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
- 4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- ½ tsp. dried rosemary
- 1 c. brown lentils, rinsed
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Parmesan cheese, for garnish
- In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add sausage to the pot, break it up using a wooden spoon, and cook until browned, about 8-10 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the browned sausage bits onto a plate lined with paper towel to drain the grease. Remove some of the excess oil from the pot.
- Lower the heat to medium. Add the onion and sweat for 1-2 minutes, before adding the remaining veggies.
- Sauté veggies for about 3 minutes, until they begin to soften, then add garlic.
- Deglaze the pan with a little red wine and wait for a minute or so (so the alcohol cooks off) before adding the diced tomatoes, broth, and herbs.
- Bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, lower the heat to medium low.
- Add the lentils and the browned sausage and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Feel free to add a splash of water to thin out the soup, if desired.
- Serve with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top