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Lentil Soup with Spicy Italian Sausage

Ingredients


1 - 2 tbsp olive oil

2 - 1 pound fully cooked hot Italian sausage, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

3 - 1 large onion, chopped (about 3 cups)

4 - 2 large carrots, peeled, chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)

5 - 2 large parsnips, peeled, chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)

6 - 2 large celery stalks, chopped (about 1 cup)

7 - 2 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning blend

8 - 1 pound brown lentils (about 2 1/3 cups)

9 - 3 quarts (or more) low-salt chicken broth

10 - 1 5-ounce package baby spinach leaves


Instructions


1 - Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until browned, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to bowl. Add onion, carrots, parsnips, celery, and Italian seasoning blend to drippings in pot; cook until onion is translucent and vegetables begin to soften, stirring often, 7 to 8 minutes. Add lentils; stir to coat. Add 3 quarts broth. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally and adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if soup is too thick, 20 minutes.


2 - Add sausage to soup and simmer until vegetables are tender and flavors blend, 10 to 12 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes.