Italian Lentil Soup is an amazing and simple one pot meal of deliciousness! This has been served this gourmet delight at a couple of dinner parties and it was a hit. My favorite is this slow cooker version. This turned out PERFECT in just 4 hours on high!!
The wonderful part of this recipe is you already have a surprising amount of the ingredients in your pantry right now! You just dump everything in the crockpot and you are on your way to an amazing and satisfying dinner! One of the surprising stars in this recipe is collards. They are tasty and they hold their texture! Collards also add a very nice pop of green to any soup.
- 1 pound cooked italian sausage
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups diced onion (1 large onion)
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup rinsed lentils (red, green or brown)
- 1 15 ounce can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- a pinch of crushed red pepper
- 2 cups of rough-chopped collard greens
- fresh-grated Parmesan cheese, fine-chopped of fresh parsley or basil
- In a slow-cooker add the first 13 ingredients (red pepper is the last item), stir to combine. Cook this for 4-5 hours on high or you can cook this on low for 8 to 10 hours, until the lentils are tender and have cooked through.
- Stir in the collard greens, and continue to cook this on high for 5 minutes. The greens should have softened a little.
- Taste, and adjust the seasoning with additional kosher salt and pepper as needed. Remove the bay leaves.
- Serve hot, and garnish with the Parmesan cheese and basil.
- This soup is perfect for freezing! You can place in a sealed container and freeze for up to 3 months!