It is officially soup season in Michigan, and I am all about it. Soups are easy, tasty, and a perfect vessels to dunk big chunks of crusty carbs (bread) into. Or in this case I crumbled up some homemade cornbread muffins, and added some grated parmesan, and it was absolutely delightful.
Savory Lentil Soup
- Dutch oven, or large stock pot
- 2 lbs Sausage
- 3 Cans Lentils rinsed
- 3 Bell peppers diced, or chopped
- 1 bulb Fennel diced, or chopped
- 2 quarts Bone Broth
- 4 Cups Kale
- salt & pepper
- In a large dutch oven (or stock pot, whatever you choose), brown your sausage, peppers, and fennel.
- Begin to add broth to deglaze the bottom of the pan and scrape up those brown bits, as the sausage, fennel, & peppers begin to cook.
- Once your sausage is completely cooked through add your rinsed lentils, and then add the remainder of your broth. Stir to combine everthing together.
- Lastly add your kale, and yes, add way more than you think you need, and put the lid on to let everything simmer.
- Stir to combine everything, taste, and add any salt, pepper, smoked paprika or liquid smoke ot season to your desired taste.
As I mentioned above- you can easily turn this into a “veg-friendly” option by omitting your sausage and bone broth. The marriage of the the Italian Sausage, and lentils really made for a savory and filling meal as both the protein and lentils contributed to the overall protein content, as wells as fiber coming from the lentils, & vegetables.
I’m also a lover of soups because they are a fantastic means of masking less desirable ingredients, as well as being a wonderful catch all for ingredients in the refrigerator that could be on the brink of spoiling. Oh, and ONE MORE THING- soups are great to freeze, and thaw out, so maybe you make a super big batch and keep half and freeze the other (and this is a bonus because then you get to bust out the label maker).
You might be wondering about lentils and iron intake, and I think I’m going to do a separate post on that, but just remember real quick that, yes lentils ARE a source of iron, as is the sausage (and other meat), but that said iron from animal sources is called “heme iron”, and iron from plant based sources (i.e. lentils) is “non-heme iron”.
Heme iron tends to be more bioavailable, I like to think of bioavailability kind of like efficiency – heme iron is more bioavailable, it is used by the body more efficiently. That’s not to say that we should ignore the iron from sources like lentils, or other plant based sources, but it is less bioavailable so our bodies have to tap into different processes to get this iron, there are also more considerations with relying predominately on non-heme iron sources such as nutrient pairing, nutrient absorption/receptor competition. I’m not saying this to discourage, or encourage one style of eating over the other, but rather as a reminder that if you plan to obtain your iron needs solely through plant based (non-heme) iron sources, it will likely take more planning, and generally overall more consideration to what, and when you are eating certain foods.