From a diet standpoint, I have been a very bad girl the last two or three weeks. No way am I approaching a scale for another couple until I have mended my wicked, fattening ways. I may simply mend my ways and just avoid the scale until fall. In any event, I have vowed to create some dishes that are high on flavor and low in fat and calories. For some reason, when I woke up this morning, I was thinking about soup. God knows why–its July. But I was thinking that something light with veggies and beans would be the ticket. And then I remembered the turkey sausage in the freezer and I had a plan. I can’t say that this in any way resembles a traditional minestrone. I’m not sure what makes minestrone what it is. But I always remember a sort of tomatoey based soup with beans and pasta and other veggies. So that’s what I did, except instead of the traditional Italian white beans, I used the last of the lentils I had floating around. Lentils are something I always buy and rarely do anything with. Not sure why. I just find them generally uninspiring. They have very little flavor on their own, I suppose. But in this case, that’s a good thing because they take on the flavor of the stock and the wine and the sausage and the lovely trifecta of onion, celery, and carrot. The end result was a lovely, light and flavorful soup that’s perfect for lunch or a light supper (and also an entry for Kahakai Kitchen’s Souper Sunday) that comes in at 4 servings for 281 calories and 4 grams of fat.
Update: I checked out Wikipedia’s explanation for what makes minestrone what it is.
Minestrone (Italian: minestra (soup) + -one (augmentative suffix) hence “the big soup”, the one with many ingredients) is the name for a variety of thick Italian soups made with vegetables, often with the addition of pasta or rice. Common ingredients include beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock, and tomatoes.
- 1 link Italian turkey sausage, removed from casing
- 1/2 large Vidalia (or other sweet) onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 and 1/2 stalks of celery, diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 3/4 cup dried lentils
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup wine (whatever you have leftover–I used a Petite Syrah)
- 3 cups water (or more stock if you’ve got it)
- 3 tablespoons pizza sauce (because I didn’t have tomato paste or sauce–they went INTO my pizza sauce)
- 1/2 cup mini pasta shells
- Brown the sausage over medium heat.
- When the sausage is about half cooked, add the onion, carrot, and celery and saute briefly until sausage is completely cooked.
- Add this mixture to the crock pot.
- Add the garlic and dried lentils.
- Add the stock, wine, and water.
- Add the pizza sauce (or tomato paste or sauce–whatever you’ve got) and stir well.
- Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8.
- Throw in the pasta shells at the last minute and allow to cook until softened.
Kelly of Evil Shenanigans is hooking us up this week with a fabulous, fall apart in your mouth, grandma style pot roast. You cannot beat pot roast. I know this was always the Company Dinner when I was growing up. This looks fabulous Kel.