Make Great Soup Anytime

Soup is one of the oldest foods in human history. Evidence goes back to 20,000 years ago when people cooked acorns and plants in hot water inside an animal skin. Water was heated with hot rocks. Later, clay pots brought in the invention of boiling. The word soup comes from the French soupe, from the Latin suppa, meaning bread soaked in broth. The word supper has the same root.

Essentially, soup is a liquid food made with a variety of ingredients like meat, vegetables and grains. It is usually served hot, but there are also cold and room temperature soups. Stews are usually just thick soups with chunky ingredients.

Here in The Bachelor’s Kitchen we like to make a pot of soup a couple times a month. Soups can serve as a side dish or a main dish. It’s a great way to up your vegetable intake. It is high in nutrition and low in fat. And it’s easy.

Sausage Lentil Tomato Soup

sausage lentil soup

This is a very flavorful soup that’s great all by itself with a slice of homemade bread. It also pairs well with a salad. Preparation time is about 15 minutes. Cooking time is around 45 minutes, but it can simmer longer if you want a stronger flavor. In my house, it only lasted a couple of days, no need to freeze. But I’m sure it would freeze well.

I would recommend making this in a stock pot or dutch oven rather than a large saucepan. The recipe makes at least 10 servings, one cup each, for nutritional calculations. I usually ladle out a cup-and-a-half servings.

First, The Ingredients

Simple pork breakfast sausage is the main protein in this soup. You can buy one of those rolls, or loose sausage meat from the butcher counter, or you can use a linked sausage like a bratwurst. I prefer the loose sausage meat for this application. You need a pound of it. A little more would not hurt.

From the Produce aisle you need two medium yellow onions. Nearby will be the garlic, that’s always useful.

In the center part of the store you need lentils. There are a variety you can use. I had some dried red lentils and used those, but I think regular green lentils would have worked better, so that’s what I would recommend. In the canned goods section, you need a 16 oz. can of stewed tomatoes. You can also use crushed or whole tomatoes that you squish. Next, a large can of no-salt-added tomato juice, 48 oz., and a 32 oz. carton of no- or low-sodium beef broth.

For seasonings, you’ll need ground cumin, dried marjoram and dried basil. As you can see this is a low sodium recipe suitable for those with high blood pressure or diabetes.

Build A Better Soup

Back in your kitchen, grab your stock pot and put it over a medium high heat. Crumble the sausage into the pot and brown. If you use links, cook the whole sausages and once browned, cool and slice into half-inch slices. Leave the grease in the pot and add in your chopped onions. Cook and stir until the onions are softened. Then you add one minced clove of garlic. I usually cheat and use two cloves because I like garlic, but you do it for your own taste. Stir and cook about five minutes until both the onions and garlic are tender.

Time to add in your two cups of lentils, 1/2 teaspoon each of the basil, cumin and marjoram. It’s also a good time to add any other spices you like. Stir, then add in the tomato juice, stewed tomatoes, and beef broth. You will also need about two cups of water.

Turn up the heat and bring the soup to a bare bubble and then cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes to an hour, until the lentils are tender.

Nutritional Information

The problem here is the portion size. The following information is based on a one cup serving size. Basic values: 250 calories, 7 gm fat, only 17 mg of cholesterol, 420 mg sodium, 33 gm carbohydrate, 10 gm fiber, 8 gm sugar, and 15 gm protein. For those on a diet exchange program this counts and 1.5 starch, 2 vegetable, 1 lean meat and 0,5 fat.