Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Italian lentil stew

Rich and hearty Italian lentil soup. Serve with crusty bread.

This recipe comes from my fantastic food-loving brother Ben (originally posted here). I had never tried it, but how can you go wrong with Italian sausage and lentils?

It's a fairly healthy and inexpensive meal. All the ingredients cost less than $10*, and it easily serves 6 hungry people. Hubby and I ate it for dinner last night (several bowls each), I ate it for lunch today, and there is still plenty left over.

The flavor was wonderfully rich, and I may be the world's newest olive convert. (The last time someone offered me olives was 15 years ago, and I spit them out. What can I say? My palate is expanding.)

Here is my version of Ben's Italian lentil stew:

3 hot Italian sausages
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
6 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups green lentils
3 14-oz cans of diced tomatoes, undrained
8 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 bunch kale, washed and broken into small pieces
1 cup Kalamata olives, de-seeded and chopped
salt and pepper
grated Parmesan cheese (the real deal, not the stuff in a green can)

Strip the sausages out of their casing and brown in a big pot. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic; cook for a few minutes, then stir in the lentils. Let them absorb some of the flavors for a minute or two before adding the broth, the tomatoes, and the water. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Sir in the kale. Simmer an additional 10 minutes or so, then add the olives, and the spices, to taste. Ladle into bowls, top with Parmesan cheese, and serve with crusty bread. Enjoy!

*Here is a more detailed cost breakdown, for those who want numbers:

1 bag lentils: $.75
Hot Italian sausages @ $2.76/package = $.55/sausage. I used 3, so my cost  was $1.65.
Kalamata olives: right around $2.50 
Kale: $.92/bunch
Chicken broth: I use Better than Broth which is $.10/cup. I used 8 cups of broth: $.80
3 cans of diced tomatoes: always in my pantry. They were about $.50/can, so $1.50.
Carrots: not sure, but I always have carrots in my fridge
Onions: I used my dehydrated onions from food storage
Garlic, basil, oregano: always in my pantry
Parmesan cheese: always in my fridge, can't remember how much it cost (around $3.50 per cup and I only used a few tablespoons)

P.S. It's not too late to enter my giveaway to win digital scrapbooking software. The odds are definitely in your favor- there aren't even 10 entries yet. Entries close Saturday, October 29th at midnight and the winner will be posted on Halloween.

I'm linking up:

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

This is a really awesome recipe ..Yummy.. Love it :)) Officially following ya with smiles..Lovely creative blog you have here..Found you over at weekend wrap up...I'm Marilyn and would LOVE for you to stop in and visit sometime.. -- Wishing you a lovely weekend..