supplied by Rosina Mello, mother of 2 gorgeous children, housekeeper and cook always in search of wonderful new recipes

Lentils are  full of protein and fiber making them a best bet for healthy eating. Here’s a soup that is ideal for those cold wintery days that serves as a meal for your family. You can leave out the sausages if you prefer it meatless but don’t leave out the balsamic vinegar which gives it a very special delicious flavour.

I cook this recipe in a pressure cooker which makes it quick and easy but if you don’t have one, use the alternative times provided.

Ingredients

1 large onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
¾ cup brown lentils
4 cups chicken stock or both
445g can tomatoes, chopped, reserving liquid
1 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes or ground paprika
3 medium stalks celery, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, cored and diced
300g smoked garlic sausage or other any other sausage, cut into ¼ inch thick  slices
Salt and freshly grounded black pepper to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions

  • Chop the onion. Heat the oil in the pressure cooker or pot,
  • Add the onion and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the lentils, stock or both, tomatoes and their liquid, brown sugar, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until lentils are soft , about 45 minutes.
    Pressure Cooker: cover and bring up to full pressure (15 pounds). Reduce heat to stabilize pressure  an cook for 10 minutes.
  • Release pressure if using pressure cooker . Add the vegetables, sausage, and salt and pepper to taste. cook for another 30-45 minutes.
  • Pressure Cooker : cover  and bring up to fill pressure (15 pounds). Reduce heat to stabilize pressure and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Release pressure if using pressuire cooker. Add vinegar to taste.
  • Soup can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen.
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