Simple Sausage and Lentil Soup
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 cup chopped celery
5 cups water
1 cup veggie soup mix with lentils (see Cook's note)
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
3 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
In a large soup pot with a lid, cook Italian sausage and celery on medium until sausage is lightly browned, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add water, soup mix, Italian seasoning and tomato paste and stir well to mix. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover and cook for 1 hour or until lentils are tender. Stir occasionally.
Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or remove from heat. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to two days.
Cook's note: For testing purposes, I used Bob's Red Mill Vegi Soup Mix with lentils and alphabet pasta. Add an extra cup of water to package directions and simmer for recommended amount of time to make sure the beans are tender.) Start to finish: one hour, 10 minutes
Makes 4 servings
Approximate values per serving (about 1.5 cups): 384 calories, 12 g fat (4 g saturated), 36 mg cholesterol, 30 g protein, 41 g carbohydrates, 14 g dietary fiber, 688 mg sodium.