Fall is here. There is no denying it. The trees are not only turning colors but losing leaves. There is a chill in the air when the sun goes down which means that it is time for soup. I had a version of this soup with my parents at the Macaroni Grill several years ago. My Mother loved it so much that they took me out for a bowl; I recreated it at home and it is now a staple fall menu item. I have to confess that most of the great recipes in my life were either inspired by or taken from my parents. They treated food not only as a meal, but as an expression of love and adventure. A bowl of this soup with an outdoor fire or a good movie and you will have a memory and a meal in one.
Sausage and Lentil Soup
1 pound Italian sausage
1 large onion, chopped
5 med carrots, skin on, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
4 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 c lentils
salt and pepper to taste
3 to 4 pints of beef broth, from the bone if you can find it. I get mine at Walmart
In your soup pot, brown the sausage until slightly crispy. Drain most of the fat. Add the vegetables and sauté on med high heat. Start with onions, once they are soft and the rest of the vegetables. When they all have a lovely, vibrant color, add the lentils and garlic. Stir until mixed. Add the broth and simmer on med to med low, as needed, for one hour or until everything is soupy, in a good way.
*If you want the Jim Gaffigan version, you could sneak in some chopped kale.