Thursday, August 27, 2015

Lentil Stew with Swiss Chard & Sausage


Finally a bit of chilly weather here in Michigan!  It is time for stew!

Although for the sake of honesty, I totally made this stew a few weeks ago when it was still 80 degrees outside.  I felt like this colder weather gave me permission to share (60's are 'cold' HA!  Perspective is a funny thing...)!

I just love the ease of throwing a ton of veggies into one pot - soups and stews like this can be so nutritious!  I can only grill, roast and eat raw so many vegetables before I'm ready for still slightly crunchy veggies in a hot bowl of brothy soup!

I found the inspiration for this recipe on Cooking Light called "Lentil Stew with Ham and Greens" and I made it my own.  Adding quite a few more vegetables and making mini sausage meatballs instead of ham.

Are you looking forward to fall yet?



Lentil Stew with Swiss Chard & Sausage

Ingredients:

1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 c chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
5 c low-sodium chicken broth
1 c dried lentils
1/2 c diced carrots
1 small to medium sized sweet potato, cubed
2 bay leaves
2 to 3 c roughly chopped Swiss Chard or spinach
1 medium sized Yukon gold potato, cubed
1 14.5 oz can of San Marzano diced tomatoes
1 medium zucchini, cut into thick crescents
1/2 c button mushrooms, removed tips of stems and quartered
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 pork brats
Fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

Directions:

In a large pot, heat your olive oil and add onions and garlic.  Saute for about 5 minutes.  Add broth, lentils, carrots, sweet potatoes and bay leaves, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, partially covered.  Add Swiss chard and yukon gold potato, bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, salt and pepper and simmer uncovered for another 10 to 15 minutes until the zucchini is just starting to look tender.

While you're waiting to add more ingredients to your soup, prepare the pork brat meatballs.  In a frying pan, squeeze the brat sausage out of the casing and loosely form into little meat balls.  Cook on low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all sides of the meatballs are crispy and cooked all the way through.  Using tongs pluck meatballs out of grease and set them on a paper towel lined plate.

Once the soup is cooked - be careful not to overcook our you'll end up with mushy, soggy potatoes and zucchini - ladle a few cups into bowls to serve.  Top with a handful of meatballs and fresh chopped basil.

Pair with a Sangiovese wine and plus a few slices of crusty Italian bread and butter to sop up the broth!  You won't want to waste a bite of this stew experience :)

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