1/3 cup olive oil
½ cup chopped red onion
1 cup lean ham or chicken apple sausage, chopped up (optional)
2 large carrots, chopped
1 cup crimini mushrooms, chopped
½ cup dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted in 1 cup hot water
2 cups lentils (Almost any kind will work in this dish).
4 cups water or your favorite stock
Sea salt

You will also need:
Chef’s knife
Cutting Board
Large pot
Small bowl
Measuring cup

Sauté the red onion in olive oil over medium heat until slightly soft. Add the ham or sausage, the carrots and the crimini mushrooms. Saute until vegetables are softened and lightly browned.

Remove the porcini mushrooms from the water, but keep the water.  Cut up the softened porcini mushrooms.  Add the mushrooms to the sautéing vegetables.   Add the lentils and continue to sauté for about a minute. Add the water from the porcini mushrooms, being careful not to get any sand from the bottom of the dish in the soup. Add the water or stock.

Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and continue to cook for about 45 minutes or until the lentils are softened.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with cheese toast wedges or warm cornbread..

Note: For those who like a little heat, add some chopped jalapeno peppers near the end of the cooking.

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