Posted by <Roxy> - January 01, 2005 01:05 PM

The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook by Paula H. Deen

Sausage & Lentil Soup

Serves 8 to 10

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sausage (chorizo, Polish, etc.)
7 ounces smoked ham, shredded
2 large onions, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
8 to 9 cups chicken stock
One 16-ounce can peeled tomatoes, crushed
1/2 pound dried lentils (1 1/4 cups)
12 large spinach leaves, cut into small pieces
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add sausage and cook until done. Remove sausage and place on a platter, allowing time to cool. When cool, slice sausage into 1/8-inch slices. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of drippings from pan. Reheat drippings and add ham, onion, green pepper and carrot to the saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin, thyme, and bay leaf. Cover and cook for 5 more minutes. Add chicken stock, sliced sausage, tomatoes, and lentils. Cover and cook over low heat for 2 hours. As soup cooks, skim off fat that rises to the top. After 2 hours turn off heat and discard bay leaf. Add spinach, salt, and pepper and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.