Thursday, January 5, 2012

Brown Rice, Lentil, and Spinach Soup

After  the excesses of the Holiday season, January is a good time to adjust to a lighter menu and set new habits for the new year.  I hope you enjoy this healthy soup and a way to start the new year.
1⁄2 lb. sweet Italian sausage
Heat 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. cumin seeds,
1⁄2 tsp. dried thyme
1 dried chile de árbol
12 cups chicken broth
1 cup long-grain brown rice, rinsed
3⁄4 cup brown lentils, rinsed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
                                                                       1⁄2 lb. spinach, coarsely chopped

1. Remove sausage from its casings. Heat oil in a 5-quart pot over medium-high heat; add sausage and cook, stirring and breaking it up into small pieces, until browned, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a plate.

2. Add carrots, celery, and onions, along with cumin, thyme, and chile de árbol. Cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 10–15 minutes. Add reserved sausage, chicken broth, rice, and lentils and season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until rice and lentils are soft, about 45 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute.
SERVES 6 – 8

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