Lunar Lentil Soup II

Baron Castle“Oh man, the moon… outer space… my dreams…”

—Cid Highwind, FFVII

The finishing touch on this soup is a pre-made salad from Trader Joe’s. If you don’t have that store near you, try choosing a similar salad from another grocery store, or substitute 3 ounces of baby spinach, 3 ounces of cooked quinoa, 2 tablespoons dried cranberries, 2 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds, and 4 tablespoons of ginger-sesame salad dressing.

This recipe uses three sausages from a 1-lb. package. To use the remaining two sausages, see Landisian Cider Stew or Wakka’s Fried Rice.

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion or two small onions, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped (about 1½ cups)
  • 10 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 3 hot Italian pork sausages, uncooked, casing removed and cut into 1″ pieces (about 10 oz. total)
  • 2½ cups dry brown lentils (about 1 lb.)
  • 2 14-oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1½ lb. zucchini, chopped (about 5 cups)
  • 1 Trader Joe’s Super Spinach Salad

Heat butter and oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 10 minutes, covered. Stir frequently and reduce heat if the onions are browning too quickly. Add carrots and mushrooms and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Add sausage and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Stir in lentils and continue cooking for another minute. Add tomatoes and seasonings and simmer for about 5 minutes. Pour in broth, stir well, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are very tender, about 2 hours. Stir in zucchini and the entire contents of the spinach salad, including the dressing. Remove from heat and serve.

Makes about 14 heaping 1-cup servings. Per serving: 284 calories, 10.9 g. fat, 3.1 g. saturated fat, 0.5 g. poly. fat, 1.9 g. mono. fat, 17.9 mg. cholesterol, 967.8 mg. sodium (this will be less if you use homemade chicken stock instead of storebought broth), 598.1 mg. potassium, 32.3 g. carbohydrates, 12.2 g. fiber, 14.9 g. protein, vitamin A 34%, vitamin C 31%, calcium 6%, iron 21%